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Mini Drone Detects Breathing and Motion 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the bad-news-on-the-destroy-all-humans-front dept.
garymortimer writes "The Phoenix 40-A mini-UAV system is capable of performing dual functions as a motion detector as well as probing for breathing of a hiding person in a compound. The mini-UAV can be remotely controlled at long standoff distances from ground or an airborne asset. In addition to the programmed, GPS-guided multi-waypoint visits, the integrated video cameras allow for day and night landing and monitoring of a premises under surveillance for enhanced situational awareness."
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Mini Drone Detects Breathing and Motion

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  • Flying robocops... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bennomatic (691188) on Monday March 21, 2011 @06:53PM (#35566042) Homepage
    What could possibly go wrong?
  • Paul Atreides would be able to handle one of these. After a good mouthful of spice, obviously.

    • Dammit, beat me to it!

      Though he didn't actually need the spice, it just made him zone out and stand still until the seeker emerged. It was Thufir's training that let him grab it as it went for the Fremen maid.

      • It was because of the training that he was able to stand still enough that it couldn't acquire him, too.

  • so by spoofing its gps and blinding its image sensors, I can send it after the sick little toadie that built this shit?

    Seriously, what is wrong with you people? There are real problems that need to be solved before creating a whole host of new ones...

    • Re:fabulous... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kitsunewarlock (971818) on Monday March 21, 2011 @07:07PM (#35566176) Journal
      A device that can help us find lost people, victims in disaster areas and potentially dangerous criminals seems doesn't sound like anything but trying to solve new problems.
      But I'll be the first to admit that the article scared the ever living crap out of me. If I was some kind of rogue agent sent to blahblahdystopianrebelsblahblahblah I'm sure I'd be really scared too.
      • oops. I didn't read the article. Two days after another questionable military assault has started, I could only think of one application.

        I apologize to the little toadies, and hope you save many lives with this. Can I control it from my iPhone?

        • by Rakishi (759894)

          Even in military usage it seems a good thing, war and the resulting dead civilians will never go away but more information would prevent killing civilians as often.

          The real problem for such technology is in domestic surveillance and the ever present move toward a police state.

          • but more information would prevent killing civilians as often.

            s/would/should/

            Back in reality, I don't think our Drone Wars ratio of terrorists/civilians killed is something our Administration and Pentagon want to brag about.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I apologize to the little toadies, and hope you save many lives with this.

          Please don't apologise to them. "Rescuing people after disasters" is always trotted out as an excuse for developing military technology - but how many drones were deployed in Japan? Zero. How many have been deployed in Afghanistan and Pakistan? More than 7,000. [wired.com] (And that report is two years out of date.)

          Incidentally, it's cute of the press release to choose the word 'compound', which suggests a foreign location, rather than the word '

          • Cool stuff always starts as military and/or space technology, duh.

            Care to cite zero drone flights in Japan? Because I know an entire military unit in Las Vegas that is doing nothing but 24/7 drone operations in Japan.

      • or, having once found the person, drop a sticky grenade on him. Ewww.... boom.
      • by tehcyder (746570)

        A device that can help us find lost people, victims in disaster areas and potentially dangerous criminals seems doesn't sound like anything but trying to solve new problems. .

        And similarly, nuclear weapons can be used to blow up incoming asteroids or plug volcanoes.

  • Just what we need. Better killing machines...
    • by couchslug (175151)

      There will ALWAYS be a need to kill. It's how humans resolve problems, and it trumps everything else.

      • There will always be a desire to kill. Its how humans avoid resolving problems, and the wealthy (Trump - get it :) stay in power.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        There will ALWAYS be a need to kill. It's how humans resolve problems, and it trumps everything else.

        It's not the only way though, you clown.

    • Something tells me you don't understand the importance of situation awareness, which is the entire point of this system. Should we ban radars and radios, while we are at it, since those are nothing other than sophisticated killing machines?

  • Well, at least there might be a civilian use for this critter.

    Meanwhile, the sniffer dogs union has protested, and threatened to trot away from the next catastrophe, unless they are guaranteed job security and human legs to hump.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "unless they are guaranteed job security and human legs to hump."

      Works for me. Where do I sign up?

  • I remember Robert Sheckley's "Guard-Bird" (1953).
  • the future (Score:1, Informative)

    by leoaloha (90485)

    and Skynet gets closer .......

  • Gee (Score:1, Insightful)

    by tomthepom (314977)

    Sigh. Yet another sales blurb from the defence industry making it to the front page of Slashdot. Really, where is the geek interest here? Or am I meant to channel Sarah Connor and murmur darkly about skynet every time someone comes up with yet another variation on a radio controlled aircraft?

    • Or am I meant to channel Sarah Connor and murmur darkly about skynet

      Channel her? No, we want you to bonk her, and get the resistance started.

  • by lexsird (1208192) on Monday March 21, 2011 @07:25PM (#35566348)

    It's just another tool, the question is who will get to use it? I am sure that in societies such as Briton's, where they have wide coverage of CC cameras, and people don't feel their privacy violated enough versus the security gained, these tools will find a place. Just a speculation. Already we have had American law enforcement want the use of Predator drones. There was a case of them wanting it in Florida, but the FAA or something was having problems with it flying around in busy airspace.

    On the other hand, as wonderful of a gizmo as this might seem, it's going to fall prey to a technically proficient enemy or criminal at some point. A few things come to mind, one is how do you sneak up on anyone if they are able to detect an RF signal? Falling prey to being jammed at best, cracked at worse, also comes to mind.

    Like them or not, drones are here to stay I think, sans the planet becoming saturated in some kind of solar based electromagnetic energy that renders known RF moot. Here is something for the truly paranoid among us to ponder. With the push for even more coverage and faster broadband mobile networking, how long before entire fleets of drones could be made, launched and controlled? I was watching the commercial of the kid with a 4G phone dangling from his RC helicopter and thinking of how this would make a wonderful network to control a drone army from.

    • ...Here is something for the truly paranoid among us to ponder. With the push for even more coverage and faster broadband mobile networking, how long before entire fleets of drones could be made, launched and controlled?

      ...And subsequently launched against everyone's wireless router, taking out the entire Internet for an area in one action?

      "I know I'm paranoid" said the Prince. "The question is, am I paranoid enough?

    • by Tim C (15259)

      I am sure that in societies such as Briton's

      I am a Briton because I was born and live in Britain.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      I am sure that in societies such as Briton's, where they have wide coverage of CC cameras, and people don't feel their privacy violated enough versus the security gained, these tools will find a place.

      Many of us here in Britain don't quite understand how having CCTV cameras on public roads amounts to a violation of privacy. Contrary to the impression US slashdotters seem to have, they don't actually monitor inside people's houses.

      If people fight, cause criminal damage or whatever in a public place, tough luck if they're stupid enough to get caught on a CCTV camera.

  • by unil_1005 (1790334) on Monday March 21, 2011 @07:36PM (#35566460)
    My mammy always taught me it is impolite to kill somebody you have not been properly introduced to.
  • by IonOtter (629215) on Monday March 21, 2011 @08:21PM (#35566890) Homepage

    They're watching all the end-of-humanity movies to make sure they get their killer robots right.

  • TEPCO workers can't see what's going on in those reactor buildings without taking huge personal risk.

    If they used something like this to survey they'd know where to aim the fire hoses instead of waiting until there's another plume of smoke from the spent cores they're missing. Just saying.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      TEPCO workers can't see what's going on in those reactor buildings without taking huge personal risk.

      If they used something like this to survey they'd know where to aim the fire hoses instead of waiting until there's another plume of smoke from the spent cores they're missing. Just saying.

      I find it hard to believe that in Japan of all places they haven't got state of the art robots to use instead of meat-heroes.

      • Exactly, working in dangerous conditions such as nuclear plants is often touted as a good reason to fund robot development.

        Instead they gave us dancing robots http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZzLAsHiGHU [youtube.com]

        We get the warm fuzzy feeling, but it's probably a fatal dose of radiation from the spent fuel rods that robots could have made safe.

  • Now we can kill civilians without having to see them.

    FYI, we've been killing several hundred innocent bystanders a year with our drones. (People were delighted that last year was down 25% from the previous year. Unfortunately the total for that previous year was 440, so we "only" killed 330 innocent bystanders in a "good" year.)

    Won't be long 'till we've killed as many innocent people with drones as OBL's thugs killed on 9/11.

  • "We can name it later!"

  • by porky_pig_jr (129948) on Monday March 21, 2011 @09:28PM (#35567464)

    mini drone detects breathing and motion, kills puppy.

  • I love the USA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Swampash (1131503) on Monday March 21, 2011 @09:52PM (#35567610)

    If there's a technology that can be used for surveillance of its own citizens, the US will throw unlimited resources at it. Cure for cancer? Mission to Mars? Not so much.

  • sex... I didn't expect we would get blown-up over it.
  • So we are getting closer to a Knight Rider type technology. Hopefully you can use this tech to rescue people from collapsed buildings too like in Japan right now.

  • Green Hornet had these drones in the 1960s, and Speed Racer in the 1970s; both launched the drones from their cars.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Green Hornet had these drones in the 1960s, and Speed Racer in the 1970s; both launched the drones from their cars.

      Well Doctor Who had time travel in the 1960s, the fact it's fictional being perhaps the only obstacle to its widespread adoption.

  • They should just ask Commander Data to scan the building for life signs.
  • But take small, shallow breaths and don't move.
  • Now you wont even see any chace seen, all you will see is this drone zooming in on a crouched criminal in some dark alley way in splinter cell mode, with night vision enabled, it would be cool for this to actually happen a few times and make the bad guys know they can run, but cant hide....might lower a bit the crime rate, no?

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Now you wont even see any chace seen, all you will see is this drone zooming in on a crouched criminal in some dark alley way in splinter cell mode, with night vision enabled, it would be cool for this to actually happen a few times and make the bad guys know they can run, but cant hide....might lower a bit the crime rate, no?

      Why no just let the police shoot one in five of the criminals they catch? I expect that would lower the crime rate for a while too.

  • For all off you citizens of Namby Pamby land out there...who cares what the civilian purpose of this device is? It has a military purpose--situational awareness--that justifies its existence.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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