Micro Air Vehicles have long been researched by the military for use in both surveillance and lethal targeting missions. An Air Force video released in early 2013 offered a vision of insect-sized drone swarms that could autonomously fly and communicate to fulfill their mission, using existing power sources to harness energy and remain “hidden in plain sight.”
A new video (posted below) from two Polish defense contractors, WB Electronics and Optimum, indicates the increasing miniaturization of drone technology as they continue along the path toward achieving the above-mentioned near-invisibility.
The system, called ‘Bee’, can be configured to fit a number of the small-sized drones on to a military vehicle, such as the Rosomak (Polish for ‘Wolverine’) armored personnel carrier (APC).
As you will see in this video, control can be initiated via tablet and includes a thermal imaging camera and laser targeting capabilities. Perhaps most interesting, and potentially worrisome, is the mention of a self-contained communication system. In theory, this could enable the suppression of local communications for urban populations on the ground, while the drone network remains fully independent and operable.
Naturally, the “guided missile” feature is one of the drone applications touted as having the ability to accurately identify the enemy and eliminate errors which could result in collateral damage (aka the killing of innocent human beings). But isn’t this the same argument we heard when conventional drone strikes were introduced to begin with? And since when in history has collateral damage been anything other than a built-in cost of the business of war?
The increased miniaturization and gadget-linked controls of these vehicles will likely only further increase the mental distance between assassin and assassinated as the war machine is converted to a full-on video game for any humans who remain at command … until autonomous artificial intelligence systems can be fully enlisted to take it to the next level.
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