Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Airforce bug bots - the perfect assassins

The Register reports

The US Air Force is engaged in wacky research on fruit flies manoeuvring within a heavily instrumented "simulation tunnel" in order to develop tiny, potentially murderous insect-sized flying robots.

According to a statement issued yesterday by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), research underway at in Californian labs will teach military designers how to build tiny robot aircraft which can fly around indoors or in built-up areas the way flies do.

They link to a 4 1/2 minute promotional video for the the Micro Air Vehicles: "Unobtrusive, Pervasive, Lethal".

The scene is set:
tiny military swarm droids scattering across towns or cities to locate or spy on persons of interest to the US authorities. They might even, as shown in the vid at around three minutes, be able to land on the back of your neck and blow your head off using some kind of tiny warhead. Amazing what they can do nowadays.
Indeed. Very cool tech in the right hands. Very scary in the wrong ones.

There are a good many fatal poisons in nature, so they wouldn't need to resort to anything as dramatic and potentially incriminating as a kamikaze bomb bot.

Use a sufficiently exotic venom, and a coroner would almost certainly declare death by natural causes. A spontaneous heart attack? These things happen. Or if you're driving a car at the time, an untraceable but powerful sedative would suffice. Or if you're leaning precariously over a well of freezing Arctic water, as in Dan Brown's Deception Point, perhaps all the spybot would need to do is set you off-balance by flying into your eye. So many potential accidents. Dissidents beware.

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