WASHINGTON — Meet the slowest player who can turn Chopin’s last piano into a mobile technology lab.
DARPA, the Pentagon’s advanced research agency, this week held a “tech demo” event in Washington featuring two of the agency’s most ambitious projects: an environment-proof, smartphone-enabled micro-hydroveteran device and a worldwide acoustic surveillance program that would improve and expand the number of “Sound Eyes” stationed near border security areas.
The micro-hydroveteran device, developed in collaboration with the nonprofit Atlantic Lighthouse Institute, is designed to withstand temperature and moisture changes from wet environments, allowing DARPA to use it in a variety of new applications in addition to aviation, said DARPA project leader Peter Formenty.
DARPA hopes to use the device to provide data about natural disasters and other hazards in areas that are physically unable to provide adequate coverage with static surveillance systems.
The other project, Sound Eyes, would use the same system to provide monitoring of those same conditions from afar. They are among 10 projects that received a total of $46 million in DARPA funding for 2025.
DARPA plans to deploy the Sound Eyes project by 2020 using existing military technology and modern tools as well as the micro-hydroveteran. The goals of the project are to improve surveillance and response times for homeland security missions, Formenty said.