Micro-drones will “hide in plain sight”

"Lethal" and "unobtrusive" micro-drones are being developed by the Air force to mimic the behavior of bugs VIDEO

Topics: Video, Drones, U.S. Air Force, micro-drones, Privacy, ,

Micro-drones will "hide in plain sight" (Credit: Screenshot of micro-drone from Air Force simulation)

The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf Tuesday highlighted a “terrifying” prospect on the military technology horizon. The U.S. Air Force are building micro-drones that are “unobtrusive, pervasive, and lethal” weapons.

According to a feature in the National Geographic looking at the progression of drone technologies, “the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has challenged researchers to build drones that mimic the size and behavior of bugs and birds.” The “bugbots” are supposed to “hide in plain sight.” Micro-drones already developed by the Air Force have been built to “resemble winged, multi-legged bugs.” In an Air Force simulation video shown to the National Geographic and posted below, “the drones swarm through alleys, crawl across windowsills, and perch on power lines. One of them sneaks up on a scowling man holding a gun and shoots him in the head.”

Friedersdorf expresses concern that such technology could fall into the hands of America’s enemies. “Sure, we have a technological advantage right now, but micro-drones sure seem like a disruptive technology that will eventually help rather than hinder attempts at asymmetric warfare,” he wrote. Meanwhile, privacy and human rights advocates will likely have their worries piqued by the existence of “unobtrusive” and “pervasive” drones in U.S. hands alone.

Natasha Lennard
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 10
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Michael Ohl/Museum fur Naturkunde

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Soul-Sucking Dementor Wasp

    Latin name: Ampulex dementor

    Truong Ngyuen

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    10,000th reptile species

    Latin name: Cyrtodactylus vilaphongi

    Jodi Rowley/Australian Museum

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Colour-changing thorny frogs

    Latin name: Gracixalus lumarius

    Judith L. Eger

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Long-fanged bat

    Latin name: Hypsugo dolichodon

    Neang Thy Moe/FFI

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Stealthy wolf snake

    Latin name: Lycodon zoosvictoriae

    Michael Janes

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Feathered coral

    Latin name: Ovabunda andamanensis

    Jerome Constant

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    World's second-longest insect

    Phryganistria heusii yentuensis

    Nantasak Pinkaew

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Slide 8

    Latin name: Sirindhornia spp

    Tim Johnson

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Slide 9

    Tylototriton shanorum

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>