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Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA)



An arm of the United States’ federal government’s Department of Defense, the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) invests in technology research to help nurture new technologies that have a use in national security. The storied agency has been involved in robotics, self-driving cars, GPS, the Internet, UAVs or drones and MEMs, among others.

The U.S. agency says it was inspired by the launch of Russia’s Sputnik, the first man-made earth-orbiting satellite, in 1957. After being caught off guard, the U.S. vowed it would not happen again and created ARPA (Advanced Research Agency) in 1958.

In the 2000s, the agency held annual competitions for human-like robotics and self-driving cars in which teams from educational institutions would submit entries.

  • Web: URL
  • Other names: DARPA
  • Type: Research Facility


  • Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) founded in 1958