Even in­sects are be­ing turned into weapons

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WEAPONIZED in­sects ... bul­lets that never miss ... portable nuke snif­fers ... Ter­mi­na­tor ro­bots ... su­per sol­diers ... and a phan­tom space plane!

Those sci-fi in­no­va­tions and more are be­ing de­vel­oped at Amer­ica’s most se­cre­tive govern­ment lab, the De­fense Ad­vanced Re­search Projects Agency — com­monly known as DARPA.

Es­tab­lished in 1958, DARPA’s mis­sion is to rev­o­lu­tion­ize the way Amer­ica fights the wars of the fu­ture.

One project in­volves a sniper bul­let that changes di­rec­tion af­ter it’s been fired — guar­an­tee­ing the shooter never misses!

It’s called EXACTO — Ex­treme Ac­cu­racy Tasked Ord­nance — and it turns huge .50 cal­iber bul­lets into guided rounds ca­pa­ble of ze­ro­ing in on a tar­get.

The agency has also de­vel­oped an ex­oskele­ton — a wear­able mo­bile ma­chine — that trans­forms any grunt into a su­per soldier by con­serv­ing up to 15 per­cent of their en­ergy on the bat­tle­field.

The ex­oskele­ton ac­com­plishes that by tak­ing on phys­i­cal bur­dens us­ing built-in sen­sors and a mi­cro­com­puter to match the re­quire­ments of its wearer.

In one of its most con­tro­ver­sial projects, DARPA is spend­ing $2 bil­lion to ex­plore Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence (AI) — specif­i­cally, how ma­chines can be taught to com­mu­ni­cate and rea­son like hu­mans.

Its aim is to cre­ate light­ning­fast mil­i­tary com­put­ers that can an­a­lyze bat­tle­field data and send out com­mands in the heat of bat­tle.

But crit­ics fear the re­search could lead to in­tel­li­gent Ter­mi­na­tor ro­bots that could mal­func­tion in un­pre­dictable ways.

An­other project, dubbed “In­sect Al­lies,” aims to in­fect bugs, such as white flies and aphids, with en­gi­neered viruses and mu­ta­tions that can be passed on to plants to make them re­sis­tant to bioter­ror­ism.

The phan­tom space plane — dubbed XS-1 — is a nextgen­er­a­tion space­craft that will launch se­cret mis­sions to the fi­nal fron­tier on a daily ba­sis.

Set to take off for the first time in 2020, the mys­te­ri­ous plane is re­port­edly pow­ered only by elec­tric­ity and is ex­pected to have the abil­ity to land and take off ver­ti­cally. DARPA’s SIGMA pro­gram is de­signed to min­i­mize ca­su­al­ties in the event of a nu­clear at­tack against the U.S.

To do that, the agency de­vel­oped portable nuke snif­fers — cut­ting-edge, ve­hi­cle-mounted ra­di­a­tion de­tec­tors that can be fit­ted on emer­gency ve­hi­cles to map ra­di­a­tion lev­els.

Govern­ment group DARPA is work­ing on a num­ber of fright­en­ing projects

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