Science & Technology

Forget DIY Drones, How About DIY Armed Drones?


Remotely piloted drones are all the rage these days, and have become must-haves for discerning government agencies at the local, state and federal levels. Our fearless public servants acquire them for purposes of snooping and tracking and, of course, for one-upsmanship on other agencies. Under current law, private domestic use of drones is severely restricted until 2015, although hobbyists have taken to them. Of course, the use of armed drones, which has become so controversial and lethal in government hands, will remain beyond the reach of private parties— Oh wait. No, it won't. In fact, armed drones (of a sort) have already been created by DIYers. At least, one has. And yes, it's cool.

The folks at Dangerous Information constructed a DIY drone with six rotors as so many hobbyists have done. Then, just to see if they could, they mounted a paintball gun on the drone that could be fired by the operator. In his video demonstration, "Milo Danger" shows the drone flying and firing at stationary targets. Jay Stanley, a senior technology policy analyst with the ACLU reports that "Milo" called into a radio show on which he was a guest:

Although not shown on the video, on the radio call-in "Milo" said that he had used it to shoot not only at stationary targets but also at live human beings. In response to a somewhat incredulous question from the host, he assured us that they were fully consenting volunteers. In general, he appears to be making an effort to spark awareness and discussion of the technology's potential in a responsible manner.

Dangerous Information's drone is basically a proof-of-concept piece, but it's one that apparently works just fine, and points to a very … interesting future.