Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Rise of the Drones

Disney is in the process of doing away with fireworks displays by replacing them with eco-friendlier computer-controlled drones equipped with LED lights:

Shades of Fantasia - looks great for Christmas - could be nice for Diwali too, one day. Even ISRO has been developing its own drone expertise - but this is consumer-level technology, and I bet even a motivated group of students could come up with a Diwali display as a project.

Meanwhile, the drone-acharyas in the US military are testing a new type of weapon - a swarming weapon:

Note that these drones are programmed to be fully autonomous, operating independently of the guiding hand of a controller. They cannot be thwarted by electronic jamming, even as they locally communicate with each other to form a collective "hive-mind".

Imagine a swarm of bees equipped with sensors and armed with explosives. This newer type of drone weaponry, augmented by the continually advancing field of Artificial Intelligence, could prove to be a game-changer on the battlefield.

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