Drones

Excruciating Pain from Above: Drones Get Pepper Spray

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This is why people will be suspicious of even harmless surveillance drones used to help in rescue operations.
Defence Web

It was inevitable. Now it's happening. Desert Wolf, a company in South Africa, has created a drone capable of shooting pepper spray and "blinding lasers" at unruly crowds. The company has sold 25 of the drones to a mining company after showing them off at a trade show, the BBC reports. They offer more details of the drones' weaponry:

Desert Wolf's website states that its Skunk octacopter drone is fitted with four high-capacity paintball barrels, each capable of firing up to 20 bullets per second.

In addition to pepper-spray ammunition, the firm says it can also be armed with dye-marker balls and solid plastic balls.

The machine can carry up to 4,000 bullets at a time as well as "blinding lasers" and on-board speakers that can communicate warnings to a crowd.

CNet notes that these "blinding lasers" are forbidden for use in war by the Geneva Convention and adds that weapons that are classified as "non-lethal" often do kill anyway:

"These weapons cannot be sufficiently well controlled to avoid causing serious injury, especially to eyes," warns Mark Gubrud of campaign group the International Committee for Robot Arms Control. "Many existing "non-lethal" crowd-control weapons can and often do kill."

Right now it appears that mining companies in countries that have seen violent clashes between striking workers and authorities are most interested. But is it only a matter of time before the infamous "pepper spray cop" is replaced by a "pepper spray drone"? Well, at least the drone won't apply for workers' compensation payments afterward.

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  1. at least the drone won’t apply for workers’ compensation payments

    At least until the Singularity.

  2. In was inevitable?
    What is this, “The Blaze”?

  3. I thought I was pretty clever when I came up with the blinding lasers idea as a youth. Fucking Geneva.

    Here’s my latest laser idea: branding.

    Burn a bardcode on someone. “Care to explain how you got this mark? If i scan it with my phone it brings up this footage of you robbing that house.”

  4. Any drone that gets close enough to hit you with a paint ball should be pretty easy to shoot down. Just sayin.

    1. That’s what the blinding lasers are for – so you can’t take aim while it tries to get in range.

  5. In was inevitable. Now it’s happening. Desert Wolf, a company in South Africa, has created a drone capable of shooting pepper spray and “blinding lasers” at unruly crowds.

    …and in related news….shotgun sales spiking in areas where these have been deployed!

    1. Haha. The presence of a firearm in such a situation would be deemed grounds for minigun “crowd suppression.”

  6. In addition to pepper-spray ammunition, the firm says it can also be armed with dye-marker balls and solid plastic balls.

    The machine can carry up to 4,000 bullets at a time as well as “blinding lasers” and on-board speakers that can communicate warnings to a crowd.

    This isn’t going to end well. I know, I know… I’m just a tinfoil hat wearing, paranoid, anti-government libertarian wingnut. But fuck it, I’ll go on record and say that within five years from today, governments in the United States will be regularly using these devices against it’s citizenry.

    1. joe and Tulpa have assured me that you and I are wrong.

    2. I have been telling you guys for years that I have seen prototypes of remotely operated .22 machineguns specifically designed for mounting on drones, but no one ever has a response.

      It’s a question of when, not if.

      1. Maybe it’s time to ensure that armed drones are covered by the Second Amendment. Or, at least, anti-drone drones.

        1. Net launchers.

          1. Zeppelin-based anti-drone defense systems.

            1. It’s not commonly known that John Paul Jones was working on this technology in secret at the time of his demise…

              1. You mean Bonzo, don’t you? He was a trained carpenter and zeppelin builder.

                  1. Yes, I, too, regret his passing. In an alternative universe, Led Zeppelin made five more albums. I’m buying them via Interdimensionalbay.

                    1. John Bonham is dead, and yet Phil Collins lives.

                    2. I think this is the final word on the matter.

            2. Suitcase EMPs

  7. The company has sold 25 of the drones to a mining company after showing them off at a trade show, the BBC reports.

    Are the orphans working the mines getting too uppity?

    1. They complained their gruel was too tasteless. A little pepper to change their minds…

  8. How difficult is it to hack those things? Do you need to be in the line of sight to do it?

  9. What are they going to do when the crowd deploys umbrellas or other light and liquid blocking fabrics?

  10. Serious question: Do drones identify themselves as police?

    If I’m being drone-sprayed, if I can get to it, or shoot it, that drone’s going down.

    1. “You have 20 seconds to comply.”

  11. OT: This person is an idiot. The short version: “eww, penises are gross.” Imagine if this shit had been written by a father to his daughters about their handling of their primary sex organ.

    My dearest sons,
    You know the dangly appendage that occupies your thoughts and/or your hands for a large percentage of the day? Well, as a concerned mother, I feel it’s my duty to enlighten you on the subject of your penis.

    1. The converse wouldn’t go over so well. Why is this annoying twat’s opinion socially acceptable?

      “Dear girls, as a concerned father, let me tell you that your cunts are gross, evil, and smell bad. You should be ashamed of them.”

      as a

      And when did stupid people get this idea that they should preface their moronic opinions with a statement of group membership? Nobody fucking gives a fucking fuck that you’re a fucking mother, you fucking cunt, and it doesn’t make you any fucking less of a stupid fucking cunt.

      1. She’s using “mother” as a credential. Pooping out a baby gives them access to special knowledge about things that men have no clue. Like penises.

    2. For some reason, I always feel the need to sincerely apologize to men and boys when I see/hear crap like this. What a horrible woman to write something like that, and about her own sons?!?! Another few years of her anti-male hostilities, and her sons should be ripe for joining the military or becoming cops and taking their aggravations out on the innocent and powerless. Ugh….

  12. Goose/Gander
    If it will be acceptable to use ‘blinding lasers’ against people on the ground, it should be acceptable to use the same tactics in defense to ‘blind’ the cameras that drone operators rely on for control.

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