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The Drones are coming, the Drones are coming !!!

Air Force Cadets Plot Future of Drone Warfare
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The idea of Air Force cadets plotting drone wars might have sounded outlandish a few years ago, but amid a huge conference featuring hundreds of robots and unmanned aircraft, it is decidedly mainstream. And in this case, the problem the cadets were mulling is more than theoretical. With drone technology becoming cheaper and more accessible, military officials have fretted that foreign governments or even terrorists could use commercially available unmanned aircraft --- essentially sophisticated toy airplanes -- to attack U.S. forces or bases.
Speaking of sophisticated toy airplane/drones hitting the retail market soon.

The A.R. Drone

Supposedly available in Sept. for $299 you control the A.R. Drones via wifi with either a smartphone or iPad. It's got two built-in, live-feed video cameras and the software that runs them is open source. I think Gibson called little guys like these Dorniers in Mona Lisa Overdrive.

The military, law enforcement, commercial and now personal (and criminal) applications for drone use continues to explode. It's going to be interesting seeing how that explosion changes our world.
 
just when I thought nothing could make iphone/ipad users more insufferable...
 
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Or for that matter, just when I thought nothing could make google more insufferable...

Google buys flying drones
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The remote controlled aircraft can carry any payload weighting up to 1.2 kilograms and can fly as high as one kilometer. That's plenty of room for a camera, a GPS and a small computer which could supplant Google's fleet of Streetview cars. In fact, a 130 gram Nexus One with a 32GB SD card would seem to sufficient for the purposes of basic mapping.
 
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Umm, is someone working on the `chaff' real or virtual for those of us who do not want us included in this nonsense? This intrusion?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by editengine:
just when I thought nothing could make iphone/ipad users more insufferable...


Aren't you in Flordia? The Southern US? Can't you just go down to Wal-Mart and browse the MANDPADS aisle pick yourself up a few Iglas to take care of the iUAVs?

At any rate, Apple already has drones. You can find them lined up outside the Apple store on the night before a new iProduct launch.
 
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Soon they will be everywhere sticking their flying sensors into our business and lives.

Water meter reading goes high-tech with 3G equipped drones
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The era of the door-to-door meter reader may soon come to an end, if an aerial monitoring system now being used in Israel catches on. [...]

Arad CEO Dan Winter says that people in many places tend to take water for granted leading to abuse, and that his system can help to discover problems that might go unnoticed for weeks using standard meters.
Eventually, they'll probably be used to monitor whether you've cut your weeds, chained your dog, or stored unapproved items on your property.
 
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I wonder what Gibson would do with drones now, if he put them in a book...
 
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Some drones are even going rogue and doing their own thing.

Runaway Drone Violated Capital Airspace
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A military drone that was supposed to be remotely controlled broke off contact with its operators and wandered into restricted airspace around the nation's capital, the military has revealed.

More than an hour into what was otherwise a normal flight, pilots remotely operating the MQ-8 Fire Scout lost contact with the unmanned helicopter on Aug. 2. The drone then traveled 23 miles away from Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland and toward Washington. Though it never reached the District of Columbia, it did cross into the National Capital Region airspace, which is restricted.
Oh great, soon we'll have flying robo cops on patrol, occasionally flipping out and going all Rambo on us.
 
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Aren't you in Flordia? The Southern US? Can't you just go down to Wal-Mart and browse the MANDPADS aisle pick yourself up a few Iglas to take care of the iUAVs?



You realize that we can get a concealed weapons permit here about as easily as we can buy a lottery ticket right? Smile The problem is these things have so little metal and leave such a small heat signature that the SAMs available at the local stores can't get a proper lock-on. Then you're back to slugthrowers and deflection shots. How much of a lead do you need to give a Global Hawk?
 
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Lead? Wait, you'll actually be aiming? Not very patriotic, Edit.
 
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Herti Drones To Surveil UK Civilians
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Autonomous surveillance platforms like the Herti drones developed in Afganistan will soon fly over the UK for routine monitoring of antisocial motorists, protesters, and anyone else the Home Office deems in need of watching. Police authorities hope to have the drones approved and ready for the 2012 Olympics. [...]

... They also indicate that police claims that the technology will be used for maritime surveillance fall well short of their intended use – which could span a range of police activity – and that officers have talked about selling the surveillance data to private companies.
Drones... coming to a sky over your head soon. If not there already.

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NASA experiments with drone-on-drone air refueling. Dammit, no one's job is safe.

In terms of using drones for law enforcement / criminal activity, getting beyond-line-of-sight bandwidth and hardening the system against exploitation are serious challenges at the current state of civilian technology. In many cases, using people ends up being cheaper and easier. No need to worry about a flying ED-209 yet.
 
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Dammit, no one's job is safe.




?
 
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drone-on-drone air refueling.


sounds kinda hot
 
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Task Force ODIN — A team of killer drones, manned spy planes, and intelligence analysts, named after the all-seeing pater familias of the Norse gods.

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Task Force ODIN — A team of killer drones, manned spy planes, and intelligence analysts, named after the all-seeing pater familias of the Norse gods.


Who is normally armed with a spear...
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kradlum:
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Task Force ODIN — A team of killer drones, manned spy planes, and intelligence analysts, named after the all-seeing pater familias of the Norse gods.


Who is normally armed with a spear...

Sure, that Odin is. TF Odin's named for Odin Bakkegard of White Plains, NY, though. One of the less famous American serial killers.
 
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Death by Drone
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There's something about drones that makes me queasy. Maybe it's the whole robots-with-guns thing. We're a long ways away from the day when machines programmed to kill fight wars so human Americans don't have to, but I think the following principle is important to keep in at least the back of our minds going forward: war is something awful, serious, and dangerous enough that real people should have to do the bulk of it. Assassinating evildoers in remote locations is one thing; getting in the habit of outsourcing death and destruction to the bots is another.


`
 
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Drone surveillance to the rescue against invading aliens. Wonder when the next rev with weapons neutralizing capabilities will arrive.


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We're a long ways away from the day when machines programmed to kill fight wars so human Americans don't have to,


Is it too sick to think that future 'Abu Ghraib' or 'Fallujah'-type atrocities will likely involve Big Dogs and BEARs?
 
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Jeezus. Be a part-time killer while you fly for the U.S. and get yer perks.
Unbelievable, these "united" states, these days. Feh.
 
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Even remote drone operators get the blues PTSD.
 
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Speechless as this insanity goes on.
 
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Killing brown people by day, whores and poker by night.

Is that the American Dream I've heard so much of?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by lithos:
Killing brown people by day, whores and poker by night.

Is that the American Dream I've heard so much of?
Sadly Lithos, yes. I think it represents the ultimate wet dream for far too many in American society.

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quote:
Originally posted by lithos:
whores and poker by night.


For the second time in this thread I will say it.

Sounds kinda hot.
 
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Don't be the only one without one.

Build your own drones.

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Fishing with Drones... Boat Drones. (video)
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Attach a piece of velcro fabric fastener to the remote control boat and the other side to your fishing line. The boat carries your line out further than a normal cast might do and into areas that might be otherwise unreachable. Once a fish bites the hook the line falls away allowing you to reel in your catch.
Next up, hunting drones.

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Rush, you seem really upset about the whole Predator/Reaper system, but I can't really understand why. What makes it so much worse than conventional artillery or air strikes?
 
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I'm simply fascinated by the whole rise of robot drones being used more and more for military, law enforcement and civilian purposes and what the ramifications of the increasing out-sourcing of those activities to machines means for us humans.

From a earlier post:
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There's something about drones that makes me queasy. Maybe it's the whole robots-with-guns thing. We're a long ways away from the day when machines programmed to kill fight wars so human Americans don't have to, but I think the following principle is important to keep in at least the back of our minds going forward: war is something awful, serious, and dangerous enough that real people should have to do the bulk of it. Assassinating evildoers in remote locations is one thing; getting in the habit of outsourcing death and destruction to the bots is another.
Hope that answers your question.

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I wonder of the ethical issues that widespread use of drones and semi-autonomous, armed equipment in warfare will bring about. Aside from still struggling with the enormity of the action of soldiers aiming a joystick and taking down combatants a continent away, what about if (when) there's a malfunction? When the predator changes course and slams a busy city center instead of a desert bunker? When the aerial drone gets confused and goes on a friendly-fire rampage? When a weaponized BigDog gets lost in the aftermath of a battle and ends up in an enemy civilian area but with no one to give a stand down command? Who will be responsible of those mistakes and deaths: programmers, technicians, soldiers, commanders?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by fuldog:
I wonder of the ethical issues that widespread use of drones and semi-autonomous, armed equipment in warfare will bring about. Aside from still struggling with the enormity of the action of soldiers aiming a joystick and taking down combatants a continent away, what about if (when) there's a malfunction? When the predator changes course and slams a busy city center instead of a desert bunker? When the aerial drone gets confused and goes on a friendly-fire rampage? When a weaponized BigDog gets lost in the aftermath of a battle and ends up in an enemy civilian area but with no one to give a stand down command? Who will be responsible of those mistakes and deaths: programmers, technicians, soldiers, commanders?


Same way they've handled slammin' Tomahawks into hospitals for years, Fuldog.
 
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Meanwhile in other drone news...

iRobot’s Military Swarm of Wifi Bots Flips Into Action
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The army of the future may rely as much on WiFi as they do on weapons. To that end, iRobot has built the diminutive Ember, a mobile robotic platform that can work in a group to establish a wireless network anywhere. The pocket-sized tank is part of DARPA’s LANdroid program which aims to create a fleet of these bots, each hopefully costing less than $100. [...]

Once the Ember fulfills its LANdroid destiny of autonomously establishing networks in warzones, it will grant unprecedented connectivity to soldiers in the field. Humans would be able to access vital data streams that may contain everything from battlefield surveillance to first aid medical guidance. With such data soldiers will be able to see where they shouldn’t be able to see, know what they haven’t been trained to know, and strike in with coordination that humans couldn’t accomplish on their own.
It's only a matter of time before domestic law enforcement has these drone swams deployed on borders, in neighborhoods, etc.

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Eh, domestically they're getting into 4th amendment issues. I know in Tampa we've gone back on forth on cameras for this reason. We also had one joker who was manipulating the traffic signals to hold cars in place so he could run their tags. Not only did he fail to find any stolen cars his sergeant wrote his punk as up for unlawfully detaining people. In the end they canned him.

You can't just fly over private property to surveil them after all without a warrant, despite all the Patriot act fears the vast majority of law enforcement is NOT affected by it.

I have heard of remote sensing being used to locate marijuana fields, and google earth to get an idea of the layout of a property prior to a raid, but you've got to wonder at the way drones would be used in regular law enforcement. Drug deals don't really look like anything from above I would assume. Other than using them in place for more expensive police helicopters as mobile lighting and camera platforms. In fact is there really a difference? Police helicopters have been used in this way for decades, does the unmanned portion make them more threatening in a law enforcement capacity?

The nice thing about unmanned warfare is the lack of emotional content for soldiers. They are not prone to my lai style massacres however the real worry about them is that the lack of cost in soldier's lives makes them more likely to be used before a diplomatic solution. Drones don't return to Andrews AFB.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by editengine:
I have heard of remote sensing being used to locate marijuana fields, and google earth to get an idea of the layout of a property prior to a raid, but you've got to wonder at the way drones would be used in regular law enforcement. Drug deals don't really look like anything from above I would assume. Other than using them in place for more expensive police helicopters as mobile lighting and camera platforms. In fact is there really a difference? Police helicopters have been used in this way for decades, does the unmanned portion make them more threatening in a law enforcement capacity?


Pot grows hot, so IR sensors are great for finding it.

Is there a difference? Panopticon, I suppose. Police choppers are fucking expensive to run, to maintain, and they've got guys in them. You can't run them 24/7, and a major city's not gonna have enough more or manpower to keep a full-time chopper force in the air, all the time, covering the entire city. Drones make it easier, cheaper, and simpler to run omniscient surveillance. That's the problem.

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The nice thing about unmanned warfare is the lack of emotional content for soldiers. They are not prone to my lai style massacres however the real worry about them is that the lack of cost in soldier's lives makes them more likely to be used before a diplomatic solution. Drones don't return to Andrews AFB.


See, same for policing.
 
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Unmanned drones may be used in police surveillance
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More and more police forces and government agencies are exploring the potential of unmanned drones for covert aerial surveillance, security, or emergency operations across the UK, the Guardian has learned.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), which works closely with police forces and MI5, published an unusually detailed public tender notice in the summer requesting submissions from suppliers of airborne observation "platforms" that can be adapted for "target acquisition" and intelligence-gathering.

Entire Southwest USA Border to be Patrolled by Drones
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CBP officials credit the drones with helping interdict 39,000 pounds of narcotics and capture more than 7,000 illegal border crossers since their debut with the agency five years ago.

"I'm humbled by the power of this technology," Bersin said. "It's a powerful force multiplier."


Mexico buys drones, may use for marijuana search

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Mexico has purchased Israeli-made unmanned drone aircraft, the government said, which may be used for spotting remote drug fields as officials fight powerful cartels.

Mexico's defense ministry said it bought an unspecified number of Hermes 450 drones last year from Israel's Elbit Systems Ltd for $23.25 million, according to a filing seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
The defense ministry declined to say how it would use the drones.

But Javier Oliva, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said the military was likely using the remote-controlled drones, which can fly for 20 hours and are equipped with cameras, to locate marijuana and opium in the northwestern states of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by lithos:


Pot grows hot, so IR sensors are great for finding it.

Is there a difference? Panopticon, I suppose. Police choppers are fucking expensive to run, to maintain, and they've got guys in them. You can't run them 24/7, and a major city's not gonna have enough more or manpower to keep a full-time chopper force in the air, all the time, covering the entire city. Drones make it easier, cheaper, and simpler to run omniscient surveillance. That's the problem.



I don't know...isn't the larger problem in the war on terror just...waaaay waaaay waay too much intel? Impossible to sort, decode, or even, really, look at?

Cops spend most of their time functionally trying to deal w. actual violent crime, and the rest of their time trying to please kiss-ass administrators types that want them to fulfill quotas of ridiculous traffic infractions and such to justify their budget.

Giving them...10 or 100 drones, which should cost as much money as a chopper...and be less useful in many ways, and...what are they going to do with them? Hire more folks to determine what they already know on municipal budgets they don't have?

Or is the FBI going to be tracking down my 8 plant closet grow up at night with a Predator or something?

Just like you can put CCTV cams in every nook and cranny...but some jerk still has to monitor them...and crime still has to occur on them, and so forth.

Omniscient surveillance sure seems like internet boogey man to me.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by jbx:

Omniscient surveillance sure seems like internet boogey man to me.
The boogey man is fiction, omniscient surveillance is something real, that they're constantly striving for, refining and deploying. Sure it represents intel overload, wasted $$$ and questionable value, but they won't stop. Power wants intel like a addict wants a fix. More, more, more. Always has, always will.

In London, the average person is photographed 300 times per day on surveillance cameras.

Those numbers will only continue to climb... for all of us.

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(Didn't mean to let this sink; work got crazy.)

quote:
Originally posted by oddmanrush:
Assassinating evildoers in remote locations is one thing; getting in the habit of outsourcing death and destruction to the bots is another.
quote:
Originally posted by fuldog:
I wonder of the ethical issues that widespread use of drones and semi-autonomous, armed equipment in warfare will bring about. Aside from still struggling with the enormity of the action of soldiers aiming a joystick and taking down combatants a continent away...
The thing is, we aren't really “outsourcing death and destruction to the bots.” Predators don't launch weapons autonomously: someone in the ground station has to pull the trigger. While the physical distance to the targets might be greater, he psychological distance is actually lessened. The Predator was originally designed as a surveillance platform: the crews can see remarkable detail from the onboard cameras and can hear the soldiers on the ground talk to them over the satellite link. After a strike, the Predator often stays on station to assess the damage. The Predator pilots have a much clearer view of the consequences of their actions than, say, an artillery crew launching rockets from tens or hundreds of kilometers away.

quote:
Originally posted by fuldog:
...what about if (when) there's a malfunction? When the predator changes course and slams a busy city center instead of a desert bunker? When the aerial drone gets confused and goes on a friendly-fire rampage? When a weaponized BigDog gets lost in the aftermath of a battle and ends up in an enemy civilian area but with no one to give a stand down command? Who will be responsible of those mistakes and deaths: programmers, technicians, soldiers, commanders?
I think the concept of warfare you base your objections on is, no offense, anachronistic. This is something that has been a part of war for years. Bombs and shells can fall short, long or wide, or fail to fuse and not explode until someone disturbs them months or years later. Today, a plane can take off with a bomb or missile pre-programmed to fall on a set of coordinates identified before the pilot who ends up launching them ever stepped to the jet. The bombs themselves might fly a complex flightpath determined by on board computers. Although technology is making it possible to give weapons greater and greater autonomy, someone still has to aim them at a target. Although it may no longer be one person identifying, tracking and attacking a target, that kind of collective responsibility has existed in warfare since the introduction of the first crew-served artillery, and the fog and friction which results in mistakes and unintended results has been around for far longer than that.

EDIT: I should probably add that I have two friends from college, both men I respect, who are currently piloting Predator drones, and I took umbrage at the characterization of Predator crews as amoral sociopaths who kill foreigners by day then do body shots off Vegas hookers by night.
 
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