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The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs (Hardcover)
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The first-ever inside look at DARPA—the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—the maverick and controversial group whose futuristic work has had amazing civilian and military applications, from the Internet to GPS to driverless cars
America's greatest idea factory isn't Bell Labs, Silicon Valley, or MIT's Media Lab. It's the secretive, Pentagon-led agency known as DARPA. Founded by Eisenhower in response to Sputnik and the Soviet space program, DARPA mixes military officers with sneaker-wearing scientists, seeking paradigm-shifting ideas in varied fields—from energy, robotics, and rockets to peopleless operating rooms, driverless cars, and planes that can fly halfway around the world in just hours. DARPA gave birth to the Internet, GPS, and mind-controlled robotic arms. Its geniuses define future technology for the military and the rest of us.
Michael Belfiore was given unprecedented access to write this first-ever popular account of DARPA. Visiting research sites across the country, he watched scientists in action and talked to the creative, fearlessly ambitious visionaries working for and with DARPA. Much of DARPA's work is classified, and this book is full of material that has barely been reported in the general media. In fact, DARPA estimates that only 2 percent of Americans know much of anything about the agency. This fascinating read demonstrates that DARPA isn't so much frightening as it is inspiring—it is our future.
About the Author
The author of Rocketeers, Michael Belfiore has written about spaceflight and advanced technology for Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, New Scientist, Air & Space, Smithsonian, Financial Times, Wired.com, and other media outlets. He lives in Woodstock, New York.
Praise for The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs…
If you want to know who really invented the Internet, or how brain waves can control robotic limbs, or how smart cars will become brilliant, this is your book. A must-read for those interested in invention in the modern age