Watch military swarm drones lock on and surround a target


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If anyone else is having trouble figuring out the scale of these things, the wingspan is a hair under 1 foot. Oh, and the propeller is in the back!

If I were one of those MIT students, and the military came along and said, “oh, great, we can use that to kill people!”, I’d be pissed. Be careful what you pick for your school project, kiddos.


I’m confused. Are you saying researchers shouldn’t work on anything that can be weaponized? I agree with not working on weaponization itself, but to refuse to work on all research that can potential be turned into a weapon seems extremely unrealistic.


My point was more that, if you’re a student, you might not be aware that the university generally owns the IP, has labs and institutes that actively cooperate with DoD, and will give you no say in whether a “transfer” takes place. It’s something to think about.


Unfortunately the target was a bunch of duck hunters armed with birdshot.


The degree to which I respond to war porn, particularly jets (I blame Robotech and my grandpa) contrasted with how much I hate militarism is the closest I think I will ever come to sexual self-loathing.



“Maybe someone already has a use for it, on for which it was specifically designed.”


Those guys are wicked dangerous though, especially if one of them is named Dick Cheney.


Time for an updated remake of Hitchcock’s “The Birds”.


Since Time immemorial…

“Thag! Look! Me find stick!”



So I have to ask a serious question here…now take off the table for a moment the idea of “Let’s get rid of war” which for the foreseeable future is an impossible ask of humanity…

So, war and warfare are part of our existence. Would you rather A) have real people shuttled off to wage war and die on a battlefield or inside a machine or B) have drones or remote piloted machines fighting our wars/battles and keeping humans safe…at least our citizens any way.

Again…sitting down and discussing differences and working out conflict through discussion is the best choice we all know this, but reality and human history say war is inevitable in some cases. As a RET soldier, I like technology like this. It keeps my fellow soldiers from harm’s way. It also allows for more controlled and targeted attacks with much greater precision. Smart bombs are still bombs that kill and destroy yes, but they are far more effective and controlled than the carpet bombing and artillery from WW2, Korea, and Vietnam.


Agreed. The weapon tech is fantastic for a number of reasons. But it is how and why it is used that I usually disagree with.

Fighting Hitler? Great!
This mess of fabricating good guys, bad guys, and generating fear to advance a different agenda (commercial?) needs to stop. As you said these weapons lower the number of dead US soldiers, which also make it easier for politicians to wage their fabricated wars.


Who or what are you attacking? What happens when you have defeated your opponent’s swarmbots and they refuse to capitulate? Do you re-task your drones to attack softer, human targets? Or perhaps, to avoid upsetting the sensibilities of the controllers, you use them to destroy food crops or defile water supplies or interrupt electrical grids?


Just because these are US drones does not mean that an opponent could not construct something similar and use it to attack US soldiers or citizens.


I wouldn’t count on enemies to stop developing tech just because the US promised it wouldn’t develop the tech on paper.

And to be a bit semantic… the tech on display here is still human controlled and monitored and directed. The future concern is tech that will make it’s own decisions on where to go and who to kill without a human operator present.


That is a different question. You are talking about what constitutes acceptable forms of warfare; not how do we utilize technology in warfare. Those are two very different discussions.

@vonbobo Completely agreed. I also know full well that many military based technology gains eventually spill over to the private sector. I am wondering what applications there could be for civilian life on this.


Your citizens. If I’m one of the citizens of Otherplacia who is targeted by these things, I would feel justified in being a bit less sanguine about it.


Well…the citizens of an enemy nation are not my primary concern which DOES NOT mean I do not care about them at all, just they are not my main concern anymore than I am their primary concern.

Additionally, smart drone tech like this should in fact allow better targeting so civilians and non military property aren’t hurt/damaged. which is better than the alternative of carpet bombing like in WW2 (was that specific point missed in my post?).


A jammer for the swarm frequencies and GPS wouldn’t be rocket science.


I question the judgement of someone making targeting decisions from behind a computer on another continent. If robots and drones can help reduce the harm to civilians and troops then fine, but the direction this is heading is to one where the militarily superior nation can utterly dominate its opponents, which has unsettling implications for American, Russian and Chinese imperialism.