With an eye toward revolutionizing how defense systems and vehicles are made, the Pentagon has tapped a team of Bay Area-based scientists, engineers and hackers to create a program that will enlist California high school students to build robots, drones and other low- and medium-tech gadgets, California Watch reports. The Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has awarded $2 million of a $10 million program to two outfits that have joined forces to develop a pilot project in 10 schools. Part of the agency’s lauded Adaptive Vehicle Make program, which has employed university-based teams to build new navigation systems, the latest effort wants to cut down on manufacturing time. Dubbed Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach, the program hopes to develop and motivate the next generation of chic geeks to collaborate through social networks to design and develop new vehicles…

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staff and wire services reports