This is the US military's $200k drone that fits in your palm

Originally published at: This is the US military's $200k drone that fits in your palm | Boing Boing

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I want to see the tiny soldiers with teeny guns jump out of it.

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How many here read this as kids?

I guarantee you Professor Bullfinch didn’t spend $200k on it though.

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The headline is a bit misleading since the $195,000 price tag is for two drones together with the base controller unit.

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$200k is a veritable bargain in the Military Complex spending of the USA.
Likely the weapon ready model will be roughly a cool billion dollars more, of course.

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The offensive capability is that it can give a heart attack to the operator upon hearing how much something that looks like a $20 toy really costs upon having it hit a tree branch.

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Though for that amount of money I would hope it could override operator error and avoid the tree.

Or cut down the tree instead.

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It does not have any weaponry onboard. Yet.

All it needs is a poisoned needle, or a little dab of novichok…

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There was a wonderfully weird Canadian sci-fi series called Lexx (with some great music themes). The first episode featured a plot ‘device’ “bug bomb” (essentially a robotic dragon-fly bomb). This kinda looks like were almost there.

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The costs for this sort of stuff do tend to be hard for me to understand.

25 min flight time is pretty impressive.

Seems like it would be easy to jam the rf control but autonomous operation would be harder to mess with, if it is truly autonomous and not just a program running on the base device and still controlling via radio like the Mavic mini I have.

Anyone else notice the kind of “Agent Smith” style of speaking the narrator had? I wonder if that’s intentional or if there’s a regional accent somewhere that results in it.

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Fits in your palm, eh?

“See that grey coconut on the left? It’s about 4 inches up from that.”

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One of the most interesting/terrifying ways aerial drones have been changing modern combat is how civilian drones been repurposed by both insurgents and criminal organizations waging asymmetrical combat against conventional military and police forces.

For example, Mexican cartels have been using UAVs to drop bombs onto armored police and military vehicles, a trick possibly borrowed from ISIS in Iraq. So for a couple hundred bucks a resistance fighter might be able to take out an MRAP if the occupants are careless enough to leave the top hatch open. And last year Syrian fighters were able to effectively immobilize an entire Russian air base with maybe a few thousand bucks’ worth of consumer electronics.

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I’ve seen this device before. Washington DC, above Iraq war protests. ~2005.

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Looks a lot like the descriptions of drones / robot dragonflies that protestors saw during the Occupy protests.

Most of the links I remember are dead.

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What would be the point of using covert spy drones to watch a public protest, though? The whole point of a protest is to be seen by as many people as possible. No need to hide where the cameras are.

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At the time, we speculated that it was a sales demo or field trial in an uncontrolled environment. But protests historically get all the newest surveillance toys as a matter of course. See also Stingray / IMSI spoofer.

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Palm sized drone you say?
lynch-hunter-seeker

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Oh, one of those demonstrations.

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In another life I did vulnerability assessment-stuff and had some candid discussions with military commanders about “what keeps them up at night”. Lots of talk of UAV and sleepless nights for us now with that knowledge. Frankly I’m a little shocked that some of it hasn’t happened already - an engineering senior-design project (with a supply of C-4) could really rock the world.

And taking out a MRAP? Child’s play. Shaped charges, or a better choice EFPs, aren’t hard to make. See the classic case of HE in champagne bottles in WW2 with the French Resistance. That punt in the bottom of the bottle? It works great to make a jet that will punch a hole in a tank.

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