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DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots

 
Atma
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04/04/2007 04:21 PM
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DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
Remember the morphing robot T-1000 from the film Terminator 2? Could something like that ever become a reality? The folks at DARPA apparently think so. Last week they issued a request for proposals on developing so-called Chemical Robots (ChemBots), which would change shape in order to squeeze through tiny gaps.

[link to www.newscientist.com]




PROGRAM GOALS AND MILESTONES

The goal of this program is to develop a payload-carrying soft robotics platform that can be used in military operations to access denied territory through small openings and perform functions.

The ChemBots Program will be separated into two phases. The goal of Phase I is to develop critical material/architecture technologies and demonstrate a rudimentary meso-scale ChemBot with moving and morphing capabilities. Depending on the success of the Phase I demonstrations, the goal of Phase II will be to develop a suite of fully-functional ChemBots for specific applications.

[link to www.darpa.mil]
malu

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04/04/2007 04:50 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
i read about a similar program a year or so ago, the ultimate in camoflage , which would make our soldiers totally invisible, it was probably a precusor to this program?
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
Anonymous Coward
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04/04/2007 04:53 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
Now that is a trip! I keep hear that the mil. is way ahead of anything we know but a shape shifting chemical robot.

How do you dig this stuff up?
Redheaded Stepchild

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04/04/2007 05:11 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
Cripes, no wonder my taxes keep going up.
"Until you are willing to organize your friends and neighbors and literally shut down cities - drive at 5mph through the streets of major cities on the freeway and stop commerce, refuse to show up for work, refuse to borrow and spend more than you make, show up in Washington DC with a million of your neighbors and literally shut down The Capitol you WILL be bent over the table on a daily basis." Karl Denninger

Don't blame me; I voted for Ron Paul.


Silence is consent.
malu

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04/04/2007 05:12 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
atma is a paid spokesperson for darpa, hence the rolls royce and avatar upgrade, so he is privy to all kinds of things, not the least beautiful young women
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
Anonymous Coward
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04/04/2007 05:13 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
You got that right Red can you imagine what the R&D would cost for something like that.
Redheaded Stepchild

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04/04/2007 05:14 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
You got that right Red can you imagine what the R&D would cost for something like that.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 210726


Mind boggling.
"Until you are willing to organize your friends and neighbors and literally shut down cities - drive at 5mph through the streets of major cities on the freeway and stop commerce, refuse to show up for work, refuse to borrow and spend more than you make, show up in Washington DC with a million of your neighbors and literally shut down The Capitol you WILL be bent over the table on a daily basis." Karl Denninger

Don't blame me; I voted for Ron Paul.


Silence is consent.
Anonymous Coward
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04/04/2007 05:15 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
Cool with me Malu I'm just glad I'm retired.


Atma keep sending us this kind of stuff!
malu

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04/04/2007 05:17 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
everytime we add to his posts he gets frequent flyer miles!

just kidding

he does have a knack for finding this kind of stuff!
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
Anonymous Coward
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04/04/2007 05:18 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
Now if this is remotely possible, then sex robots should be on the market in no time! I tried to build one a few years ago, but somebody stole it before I could get it working just right :(
Redheaded Stepchild

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04/04/2007 05:19 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
This really really really pisses me off. Who the hell has money to waste like that? What good does it do? Will they use it to spy on people here at home again?

[link to www.darpa.mil]
Due to the possibility of transcription errors, the official FedBizOpps announcement takes precedence over this transcription in any disagreement between the two. The transcription is provided for your convenience only.

General Information
Document Type: Modification to a Previous Notice
Solicitation Number: BAA07-21
Posted Date: Mar 23, 2007
Original Response Date: Feb 14, 2008
Current Response Date: Jul 02, 2007
Original Archive Date: Jul 02, 2008
Current Archive Date: Jul 02, 2008
Classification Code: A -- Research & Development
Naics Code: 541710 -- Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences

Contracting Office Address

Other Defense Agencies, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Contracts Management Office, 3701 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA, 22203-1714, UNITED STATES

Description

CHEMICAL ROBOTS
BAA 07-21, Addendum 2
White Papers Due: May 3, 2007, no later than 4:00PM ET;
Full Proposals Due: July 2, 2007, no later than 4:00PM ET. Technical Point of Contact: Dr. Mitchell R. Zakin, DARPA/DSO; Ph: (703) 248-1509, Email: [email protected];
URL: www.darpa.mil/dso/solicitations/solicit.htm;
Website Submission: [link to www.sainc.com (secure)]

DESCRIPTION
(Note: This BAA Addendum 2 is submitted as a Special Focus Area as described in the original BAA, 07-21.)

The ability to safely and covertly gain access to denied or hostile areas and perform useful tasks provides critical advantages to warfighters over a broad spectrum of military operations. An effective and logistically attractive means for gaining entry to denied areas is to deploy an unmanned platform, such as a robot. However, often the only available points of entry are small openings in buildings, walls, under doors, etc. In these cases, a robot must be soft enough to squeeze or traverse through small openings, yet large enough to carry an operationally meaningful payload. Current robotic platforms are constructed primarily from hard materials and, while capable of locomotion with embedded payloads, cannot change their physical dimensions to rapidly traverse arbitrary size/shape openings whose dimensions are much smaller than the robot itself and are not known a-priori.

In response to this challenge, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking innovative proposals to develop Chemical Robots (ChemBots): soft, flexible, mobile objects that can identify and maneuver through openings smaller than their static structural dimensions; reconstitute size, shape, and functionality after traversal; carry meaningful payloads; and perform tasks. ChemBots represent the convergence of soft materials chemistry and robotics to create a fundamentally new class of soft meso-scale robots that can perform the following key unit operations in sequence:

1. Travel a distance;
2. Traverse an arbitrary-shaped opening much smaller than the largest characteristic dimension of the ChemBot;
3. Reconstitute size, shape, and functionality after traversing the opening;
4. Travel a distance; and
5. Perform a function using the embedded payload.

The first phase of this program focuses on the development of novel materials, material systems, and/or robot architectures, that can both move and morph under the influence of an appropriate driving force (e.g., electromagnetic, acoustic, chemical, etc.), as well as demonstration of a rudimentary meso-scale ChemBot. The specific Phase I milestone is presented under Program Goals and Milestones.

BACKGROUND
To achieve the ChemBots vision, key technical breakthroughs will center on the development of materials and architectures that can both locomote and reversibly change their form factor in order to traverse small openings and reconstitute size/shape on the other side. There are two basic traversal mechanisms: squeeze through the opening, or first transform to the appropriate form factor and then traverse. Critical features that must be considered in the ultimate ChemBot devices are:

1. Morphability in all three dimensions;
2. Architectures that can sense and morph responsively to openings, e.g., using local tactile sensing;
3. Flexible backbone structures or architectures that themselves morph or dissolve, then reconstitute - keystone that enables system;
4. Payloads that remain viable after traversal. Hard payloads, including power sources, must be smaller than the largest characteristic size of the opening. Novel soft payloads that morph and reconstitute may be larger than this size;
5. Modest power requirements. ChemBots may be self-powered, self-consuming, or energy-scavenging;
6. Autonomous or user-controlled operation, depending on application. ChemBots must not be tethered to controllers or power sources;
7. Meso-scale in size, preferentially with size-scalable architecture; and
8. Robust over typical range of military operational conditions (temperature, humidity, rain, etc.).

Nature provides many examples of ChemBot functionality. Many soft creatures, including mice, octopi, and insects, readily traverse openings barely larger than their largest "hard" component, via a variety of reversible mechanisms. These mechanisms include (1) using elastic materials to twist, crumple, and bend with many degrees of freedom, (2) utilizing the flexibility of the musculoskeletal structure to squeeze through openings, and (3) exploiting reversible changes in modulus (i.e., flexible to stiff) to achieve dimensional reductions which can exceed 10:1. Soft invertebrates typically locomote by crawling, e.g., peristalsis (earthworms, caterpillars), pedal waves (snails, slugs), cilial motions, etc., and utilize means such as gripping, hooking, and suction to ensure sufficient traction with the terrain.

Potential approaches to achieve soft meso-scale robots include, but are not limited to:

1. Gel-solid phase transitions;
2. Non-Newtonian systems (e.g., shear-thinning and -thickening fluids and gels);
3. Shape-memory materials;
4. Electro- and magneto-rheological materials;
5. Electrostatic, electrostrictive, electro-osmotic, electroadhesive, and dielectrophoretic phenomena;
6. Reversible chemical and/or particle association and dissociation;
7. Geometric transitions, e.g., folding phenomena;
8. Modulus-shifting materials; and
9. New classes of materials and/or system architectures.

Any innovative approach that meets the goals of this BAA will be considered.

PROGRAM GOALS AND MILESTONES
The goal of this program is to develop a payload-carrying soft robotics platform that can be used in military operations to access denied territory through small openings and perform functions.

The ChemBots Program will be separated into two phases. The goal of Phase I is to develop critical material/architecture technologies and demonstrate a rudimentary meso-scale ChemBot with moving and morphing capabilities. Depending on the success of the Phase I demonstrations, the goal of Phase II will be to develop a suite of fully-functional ChemBots for specific applications.

Phase I will be a research effort of not more than 24 months; however, shorter duration efforts are strongly encouraged.

The Phase I milestone is:

1. Demonstrate a ChemBot, approximately the size (but not necessarily the form-factor) of a regulation softball (i.e., 30 cm circumference; 10 cm diameter; 500 cm3 volume), that can:
a) travel a distance of 5 meters at a speed of 0.25 meters/minute;
b) achieve a 10-fold reduction in its largest dimension; and
c) traverse through a 1 cm opening of arbitrary geometry and reconstitute its original size and shape, in 15 seconds.

Phase II is expected to be a research effort of between 18 and 24 months. The Phase II milestones will be determined by the results of the Phase I effort and the specific applications that are proposed.

To realize the program vision and meet the Phase I milestone, each research effort requires performers with expertise in materials chemistry and physics, robotics, command and control algorithms, and systems integration.

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION
We anticipate a two-stage source selection. It is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED that a white paper be submitted according to the guidelines provided below.

White Paper and Full Proposal Deadlines
White papers will be accepted until May 3, 2007, NO LATER THAN 4:00PM ET. All white papers will be reviewed no later than May 17, 2007, and recommendations for full proposals will be provided at that time. Full proposals will be due July 2, 2007, NO LATER THAN 4:00PM ET. White papers and proposals submitted by fax will not be accepted. All full proposal submissions will be evaluated regardless of the disposition of the white paper. Note that a full proposal may be submitted at any time before the close of the solicitation without having submitted a white paper.

White Paper Submission Guidelines
White papers of eight pages or less (not counting cover sheet) will be reviewed for the purpose of recommending the submission of full proposals. The white paper must include the following sections:

1. A cover sheet that includes the Technical Point of Contact's information (name, address, phone, fax, email, lead organization and business type), the title of the proposed work, the estimated cost, and the duration (in months) of the proposed work. (Note: cover sheet does not count towards page limit.)
2. An executive summary, including a clear statement of the uniqueness of the idea. We are looking for revolutionary ideas that will firmly establish the field of soft robotics if the proposed work is successfully completed.
3. A concise statement of the approach to the problem, the scientific and technical challenges inherent in this approach, and possible solutions for overcoming potential problems. Provide supporting technical analysis. This statement should end with a description of the proposed ChemBot architecture and an initial estimate of ChemBot performance. This statement will also serve to demonstrate an understanding of the state-of-the-art in the field.
4. Briefly outline the research areas relevant to achieving program milestones, initial experiments to be conducted, and how progress towards these milestones will be assessed.
5. A cost estimate for resources over the course of the proposed timeline. This cost estimate should include both labor and materials costs.
6. A summary of expertise of the key personnel on the project relevant to the program goals. If the team is multi-organizational, a proposed management structure should also be included.
7. Brief list of relevant references.

Full Proposal Submission Guidelines
As described in BAA 07-21, full proposals shall consist of two volumes: Technical and Cost. Follow the general guidelines for full proposal format and content provided at: [link to www.darpa.mil]

The Technical section of the research proposal must contain the following information:
1. Concept Definition: Clearly describe the proposed materials, actuation, and systems architecture concepts for ChemBots. Describe the underlying physical mechanisms that enable locomotion, shape morphing, and reconstitution, including associated on-board power/computing requirements and resources. Describe the basic strategy for traversal through arbitrary size/shape openings.
2. Supporting Technical Analysis: Provide a detailed analysis of the technical rationale that supports the proposed ChemBots concept, including performance estimates.
3. Research Plan: Provide a detailed research plan that describes the methods for achieving the Phase I milestone specified in this Broad Agency Announcement. Provide several specific, quantitative milestones at intermediate stages of the program to assess progress towards meeting the Phase I milestone.
4. Brief list of relevant references.

In addition, all proposals should be supplemented by a one-page Quad Chart describing the program objectives, relevance to the military population, performers, technical milestones, and Fiscal Year total budget. The Quad Chart should include a schematic illustration of the proposed concept showing the principle(s) of operation. The Quad Chart will not count against the total page limit.

Evaluation of Proposals
Evaluation of the proposals will be in accordance with BAA 07-21. For general administrative questions, please refer to the original FEDBIZOPPS solicitation, BAA07-21, of February 14, 2007: [link to www.darpa.mil]

Web Address for Proposal Submission: [link to www.sainc.com]

Address for Proposal Submission:
DARPA/DSO
ATTN: BAA 07-21, Addendum 2, Dr. Mitchell R. Zakin
3701 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203-1714

General Information
In all correspondence, reference BAA 07-21, Addendum 2

Technical Point of Contact

Dr. Mitchell R. Zakin, DARPA/DSO; Phone: (703) 248-1509; Email: [email protected]

Original Point of Contact

Barbara McQuiston, Deputy Director, DSO, Phone 703-526-4759, Fax 703-248-1916, Email [email protected]

Current Point of Contact

Anthony Cicala, Contracting Officer, Phone (571)218-4639, Fax (703)248-1927, Email [email protected]
"Until you are willing to organize your friends and neighbors and literally shut down cities - drive at 5mph through the streets of major cities on the freeway and stop commerce, refuse to show up for work, refuse to borrow and spend more than you make, show up in Washington DC with a million of your neighbors and literally shut down The Capitol you WILL be bent over the table on a daily basis." Karl Denninger

Don't blame me; I voted for Ron Paul.


Silence is consent.
Anonymous Coward
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04/04/2007 05:20 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
Hey Malu you and I will have to design that solar powered fridge for doctors some time. This is Underground_Dude btw.
Anonymous Coward
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04/04/2007 05:23 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
Can you imagine what that would do for search and rescue. But of course it will never be seen by any search and rescue teams.
malu

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04/04/2007 05:23 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
hey underground dude! i was just looking at my notes on that yesterday, not forgotten!

an operationally meaningful payload

ie, a method of killing someone

nice
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
Anonymous Coward
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04/04/2007 05:27 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
A long while back I heard of somebody designing fluid memory for computers so memory shouldn't be a problem. But how do you program it?
malu

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04/04/2007 05:33 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
A long while back I heard of somebody designing fluid memory for computers so memory shouldn't be a problem. But how do you program it?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 210726



omg,,, are you trying to kill me,,, ahhhhhhhh brain freeze! lmao

i can make fires, kill things, eat them
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
Anonymous Coward
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04/04/2007 05:40 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
What what? What was funny?
Anonymous Coward
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04/04/2007 05:42 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
Oh and your welcome I think?
malu

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04/04/2007 06:17 PM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
your programming question ,, it is way over my head! no biggie

we will have to collaborate on the solar powered cooler for doctors of third world countries, if you don't mind?
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
Atma  (OP)

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04/05/2007 05:31 AM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
atma is a paid spokesperson for darpa,
 Quoting: malu



chuckle


With the NASA budget cuts, they had to lay off some of their paid posters. I had to take a side job.
....
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04/05/2007 05:42 AM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
And He, GOD, will bring thy fears upon you..

It's in the Book !

When will the fantasy become real?

My guess is that these already exist in some dark underground lab, some where in Pine gap, down under..
Anonymous Coward
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04/05/2007 06:19 AM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
A lot of the stuff you see in the movies are very real.
Anonymous Coward
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04/05/2007 11:58 AM
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Re: DARPA wants to build 'The Terminator', Shape-Shifting Chemical Robots
Remember the morphing robot T-1000 from the film Terminator 2? Could something like that ever become a reality? The folks at DARPA apparently think so. Last week they issued a request for proposals on developing so-called Chemical Robots (ChemBots), which would change shape in order to squeeze through tiny gaps.

[link to www.newscientist.com]




PROGRAM GOALS AND MILESTONES

The goal of this program is to develop a payload-carrying soft robotics platform that can be used in military operations to access denied territory through small openings and perform functions.

The ChemBots Program will be separated into two phases. The goal of Phase I is to develop critical material/architecture technologies and demonstrate a rudimentary meso-scale ChemBot with moving and morphing capabilities. Depending on the success of the Phase I demonstrations, the goal of Phase II will be to develop a suite of fully-functional ChemBots for specific applications.

[link to www.darpa.mil]
 Quoting: Atma

always keep some Pam cooking spray around
if you see a nano-cloud (morphing robot)
just spray it with the oil
the cloud will drop to the floor





GLP