Unbeknownst to anyone ahead of time, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pulled out the serious shit this weekend on 60 Minutes when in an interview with Charlie Rose, he unveiled “Amazon Prime Air”, a just-so-crazy-it-might-work plan to deliver packages within 30 minutes by aerial drone. Everyone can go home now, Amazon just won.
Mapping our world is big business, and it’s important business— from understanding our planet, to keeping tabs on population to just knowing the best way to get around, we’re always looking at new and better and faster ways to collect data on our surroundings. And with small, cheap flying drone technology, we could have robots doing constant measuring and monitoring and surveillance for us. Like tiny little mechanical guardian angels.
Using unmanned aerial drones to bomb shit has been a pretty effective way to wage war, but building new drones from scratch can be pretty damn expensive. So the Air Force has decided to take their old F-16 fighter jets that are just sitting on the ground and turning those into drones. Suck it, terrorists.
The idea of federal drones high above us, spying on American citizens doesn’t sit well with a lot of people, but one small Colorado town is doing something about it, with proposed legislation that would allow any citizen of Deer Trail to shoot federal drones out of the sky.
To keep up with the latest trends in surveillance and warfare technology, several colleges are already offering courses and training programs in how to fly unmanned drones.
Last year, the FAA approved the use of surveillance drones by local and state law enforcement and since then, hundreds and hundreds of law enforcement offices across America have ordered their own little drones, but increasingly Americans are getting pissed off at these little futuristic eyes in the sky, and for good reason. Nothing says “Welcome to the Big Brother state of the future” than having cops spy on you with little flying eyeballs.
Everyone else is using drones, so why not you? Feel like a Nobel Peace Prize winner by patrolling your neighborhood with a quadrocopter drone for the low low price of $60/month!
Ever since the government approved spy drones for domestic use, we’ve been told that there’s nothing to worry about, since the drones would only be used for things like traffic, tracking fugitives and giving local law enforcement a wider range of vision. But a group of college students from the University of Texas-Austin easily hijacked a domestic drone with equipment from Radio Shack.
Unmanned drone aircraft have proven to work pretty well in international combat scenarios, so why not use them in domestic law enforcement? And if there’s any state to try it first, it would be Texas. Specifically, Monroe County, Texas, which recently just spend $30,000 to get some unmanned RC helicopter-looking law enforcement drones.
After five years behind locked doors, researchers at Lockheed Martin’s Intelligent Robotics Laboratories in New Jersey have emerged with a working prototype of the “Samarai,” a tiny DARPA-commissioned surveillance drone. The nano air vehicles (NAVs), modeled after falling Maple leaf seeds, are designed to be super light weight and agile for vertical lift off, hovering, and navigation in tight spaces.