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CNET Top 5
Military research projectsYes, it includes lasers, robots, and explosions. What else did you expect?
Welcome to CNET Top 5, where each time we meet, we count down another hot CNET list. I'm Tom Merritt. The military can be a controversial topic for some, but consider this. They invented the Internet. In fact, the Defense Advanced Research Project Association, or DARPA, specifically invented the Internet. So what are those geniuses up to these days? Let's count down the Top 5 military research projects from DARPA. At No. 5, a PAL or Personalized Assistant that Learns. This is a computer system that acts as an executive assistant to military commanders. My guess is they'll eventually implant it in a friendly robot body. Just guessing. Coming in at No. 4, GALE or Global Autonomous Language Exploitation, an example of real-time accurate language translation. That's right, a universal translator. And DARPA thinks it'll be good enough to challenge human translators by 2011. Up to No. 3, PerceptOR. The Perception for Off-road robotics project for Unamanned Ground Combat Vehicles. If you didn't quite catch that, it means killer robot soldiers. By 2015, Congress requires that one-third of U.S. ground combat vehicles be unmanned. PerceptOR meet Skynet. Oh, speaking of Skynet, sliding in at No. 2, ORCA. The Optical RF Communications Adjunct. A high-data-rate backbone network operated from airborne "assets" at 25,000 feet. Yes it's a network. In the sky. Before we get to No. 1, it's time for another lame prize! Be one of the first 10 people to answer the following question at our Top 5 post at blog.cnettv.com and you could win. The Deluxe! Han Solo with smuggler flight pack featuring battle-pivoting blaster cannons and cargo claw. Now that's a military research project. The question is, what was the original name of the Internet. Blog.cnettv.com All right. Let's get to our No. 1. The top military research project is: HELLADS. The High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System. It's merely a 150 kilowatt laser used to shoot down rockets from the sky. The prototype was dubbed the HEL weapon. It can be either ground-based or integrated in planes. And we're not even making this up. I think it's obvious why a liquid laser rocket destroyer would be No. 1. Don't you? Well That's it for this edition of CNET Top 5. Don't forget to tell us the original name of the Internet at blog.cnettv.com for a chance to win the Han Solo robot kill us all thing. I'm Tom Merritt. See you next time.