DARPA, the Department of Defense's R&D agency, has two new projects: BaTMAN (Biochronicity and Temporal Mechanisms Arising in Nature) and RoBIN (Robustness of Biologically-Inspired Networks). Their goals? To increase troop efficiency using quantum mechanics. They're making superheroes!

Well, not exactly. The purpose of BaTMAN and RoBIN is to explore ways in which quantum principles and the understanding of human interaction could improve troop efficacy. Sounds vague? Hey, it's top secret. Here's the official description of BaTMAN...

Biochronicity and Temporal Mechanisms Arising in Nature (BaTMAN) could develop an understanding of the relationship between biological systems and the spatial-temporal universe through the application of advanced principles from the physical sciences. [...] Topic areas that may be of interest include, but are not limited to: quantum biology and molecular clocks; resetting and synchronization of biological clocks and rhythms; microscale recapitulation in macroscale; evolutionary pressure and time; physiological signal processing and clocks; timing and cognition; and robustness of clocks in development

... and RoBIN.


Robustness of Biologically-Inspired Networks (RoBIN), seeks to apply the critical control features of biological networks to build unique models for adaptable networks, and create a dynamic biologically-inspired network of scientists and other experts for crisis response and complex decision support. Topic areas that may be of interest include, but are not limited to: exploring collective behavior and recruitment, counter deception, modularity in networks and biology, models of robustness, recruitment of expertise, synthetic immune surveillance, model and design of robust biological networks, self-organized complexity across scales, and robust adaptive response systems.

What I like about these acronyms is that they fit the Dynamic Duo's modi operandi to a tee. Batman works like an unflinching automaton, micromanaging every aspect of crime-fighting with clockwork precision. Similarly, Robin's perpetual kidnappings caused crises Batman was forced to react to. Plus, inexplicable disasters on the set of Batman always kept Burt Ward on his toes.


[Via Wired's Danger Room. Photo via Comic Treadmill.]