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Your Digital Self: The U.S. military could use a few drone fanatics for a new mission

To help the U.S. military gain the upper hand in unknown environments, such as sprawling mega-cities, caves or man-made underground tunnels, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a special challenge to the engineering and scientific community: the Subterranean challenge, or “SubT.”

DARPA-funded and independent teams alike are invited to develop technology capable of navigating and scanning the terrain and transmitting that data to soldiers, even when under fire. Military patrols usually avoid subterranean environments — they are notoriously difficult to navigate and can give the enemy forces distinct combat advantages.

“We’ve reached a crucial point where advances in robotics, autonomy, and even biological systems could permit us to explore and exploit underground environments that are too dangerous for humans,” said TTO (Tactical Technology Office) Director Fred Kennedy.

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