Monday, 4 February 2019
We have all seen them in the visions of a dystopian future. Swarms of machines searching the streets hunting dow
China is probably the world leader when it comes to surveillance technologies. They have the capability to monitor almost every citizen that lives in any major city.
This monitoring has seen itself morph into a very secretive program that watches and indexes peoples behaviours, those that do not maintain a good score in this happiness index are carted off for reeducation, Orwell must be turning in his grave.
A new advancement could give the Chinese government tool in their quest to control the populace a new robotic vehicle displayed at ‘Airshow China’ defence expo in Zhuhai this drone is equipped with a missile and is named the ‘micro-intelligent missile’ by the developers.
The missile is 40mm in diameter and 500 mm in length this means it is able to be launched from a grenade launcher, upon launch it can travel to a height of 2000 meters where it prepares to launch itself at lightly armoured targets.
The weapon can also be deployed against human targets with a lethal strike radius of 12 meters, the platform uses an intelligent targeting system in which an operator pre-selects a person or vehicle to hit the drone then uses its electro-optical to seek and destroy its enemy.
A fire and forget solution which could change the nature of modern combat.
The Chinese are just the latest nation to join the development of this type of weapons platform the U.S and others have been leaders in this field.
Back In 2015, the UK government stood against an international treaty which would place a ban on killer robots. The UK’s Foreign Office gave the statement saying that it saw no need for the prohibition of this classification of weapon as international humanitarian law already regulated the area.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said;
“The UK is not developing lethal autonomous weapons systems, and the operation of weapons systems by the UK armed forces will always be under human oversight and control,”
I don’t know about you but a statement like that makes me think the opposite. If they didn’t have the tech why oppose a ban, it would be more likely that they do have this technology, and that they have a larger investment in the field of AI weaponry which they don’t want to lose.
Allies of the United the kingdom The U.S. admits that its Air Force has a selection of tiny flying-bots which are capable of hovering, stalking and even killing selected targets.
AVD the Air Vehicles Directorate located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is already developing prototypes of tiny killer drones.
The micro air vehicles “or MAVs for short” they are building will have a wide range of capabilities operating in large groups they will form swarms of mechanical death. Each small robot armed with different payloads to complete a wide range of operations.
Warheads tailored to a specific mission. Chemicals, combustibles and explosive heads attached to each drone which when ordered will happily kamikaze into a building, vehicle or person.
The mini-drones will become an important ‘Unobtrusive, pervasive, and lethal part of future battlefields.
- Micro Air Vehicles, will enhance the capabilities of the future war fighter.
The key to making this technology successful is something which is holding back many electric technologies today battery size and power.
The current batteries are limiting the operation time and distance these mini devices operate for and over. The military is working hard to accomplish their goal and will most likely succeed with the idea of a swarm based aerial robot which can be dropped from planes monitor or invade an area.
Working as a single entity these units will be able to simultaneously monitor the broad view of a battlefield as well as individual targets. The MAVs will be capable of making decisions on how to best strike, what ordinance would be best suited and the optimal path of approach.
This 'Data would be sent and received by the entire hive of MAVs in real time, it would extremely reliable and allow the drones to carry out decisions which they would then send back to operators.
This technology has implications that extend further than the battlefields of the future people have long relied on masks and other disguises to hide their identities, but these MAVs will be fitted with the latest advanced vision techniques which will easily see through the mask worn by criminals or maybe even protesters. This will allow those in control to identify and possibly even tag or take action against these people remotely this indicates a huge shift in the ability of a small group of people to control a populace.
The temptation presented by this technology could be too much for governments, dictators or despots to resist.
We see the path this is heading down with China and also India, the government of India has funded a team of scientists from Cambridge University to develop an algorithm which will be able to identify people who have obscured their faces by wearing hats and sunglasses, fake beards and scarves.
These drones could already be in use, if you have watched the videos on targeted individuals linked above, you will know that some say they are.
These MAVs could be spying on us today and they would be extremely difficult to spot, the size aside the builders of this technology are looking to nature for designs and are creating drones which could easily be mistaken for insects or birds.
The U.S military patterned its drone after a hawk moth it even has wings that are Capable of flapping over 30 times a second.
Another drone is like a pigeon and perches unobtrusively on a power line to observe surveillance targets with its camera, a camera which one can assume would have the facial recognition software I just mentioned.
The Air Force is working on technology that will allow the drones to leach electricity power lines or sources this allowing them to operate for days, weeks or months on end.
These drones will also not need to be connected to the internet or GPS satellites this removing the vulnerability to hacks they will use Advanced sensors an 'optic flow,’ this will allow them to fly by 'sight' just like a real animal, it also eliminates the problem with GPS signals which can be disrupted by buildings or deliberately jammed by enemy forces.
A film made by the Future of Life Institute (FLI) presents a chilling and maybe soon to the situation with footage of a mass slaughter being carried out by tiny drones.
The drones featured in the project, named Slaughter-bots, they use facial recognition to identify their targets before blasting them in the skull.
If we consider other abilities which scientist are developing to use with AI and robotics we get something truly terrifying.
Scientists have developed the technology to give robots self-healing properties which allow them to “recover” from damage.
We are at a shifting point in warfare Elon Musk, and Mustafa Suleyman, the founders of Teslas and Alphabet’s Deep Mind AI unit, stepped forwarded and warned us that an urgent ban is needed. This is to prevent a “third revolution in warfare”, this after the big changes caused by the creation of gunpowder and nuclear arms.
It will only take one major war to unleash these new weapons with tragic humanitarian consequences and destabilization of global security.”
Do you think we face a future when we will be watched and stalked by these electronic surveillance insects?
Do you think this will be a good thing, providing extra security?
Will this technology be used to crush the last of humanities freedoms and privacy?
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