world war E
dispatches from the network society

DARPA LANdroids

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – source of many milestones in the information technology revolution and the gravitational center of World War E – has put out an RFP [PDF] for its new LANdroids program, intended to

develop intelligent autonomous radio relay nodes that exploit movement to establish and manage mesh networks in urban settings. The goal is to create small, inexpensive, smart robotic radio relay nodes that dismounted warfighters drop as they deploy in urban settings. The nodes then self-configure and form a mesh network – a temporary infrastructure that establishes communications over the region. As the situation changes, the nodes will adapt the network, such as self-healing if nodes are destroyed by the enemy (DARPA 2007, 3-4).

DARPA is aiming for a final production cost of sub-$100 per LANdroid – which, plus the mesh-networking capabilities in the spec, bears an eerie resemblence to the OLPC project. Both are intended to revolutionize their respective sectors through the application of decentralized networking technology.

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One Response to “DARPA LANdroids”

  1. […] U.S. DOD is applying these techniques, as noted below on this blog, to a battlefield mesh network of LANdroids. Similar efforts are underway for more civilian […]


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