WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Technology always gets smaller and more performant, and this is a perfect example.
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In time every technology gets smaller, like this camera that is so small it travels around your blood stream, more powerful, like these DNA computers that will pack more computing power than we have on the entire planet today into a test tube, and cheaper like the cost of talking to someone on the other side of the planet. And ordinarily when I talk about bug drones I’m often talking about bugs, like beetles, Dragonflies, and bomb sniffing Locusts, that researchers have turned into cyborg drones. But not today …
These same rules I mentioned above apply to all technologies, including drones that will be able to lift more, in a smaller package, for less. This week the UK Ministry of Defence unveiled its newest micro drone, although in this case the punch it packs is being able to blow the doors off of buildings, and a new less futuristic unmanned drone, the X3.
See the tiny bug drone that can blow stuff up
The explosive laden drone, nicknamed The Bug, weighs less than 200 grams and can track vehicles by flying up to 50 mph, or 80 kph, blow open doors, and conduct surveillance – all in a tiny package that sits comfortably in the palm of your hand.
The X3, meanwhile, can confront enemy troops and send live footage back to home base via the cameras fitted in it. It has a top speed of 13 mph, or 20 kmh, and is equipped with speakers to distract the enemies, the Telegraph reported.
And while it can only travel up to two kilometers it can be linked with other vehicles to relay information along a chain up to 15 miles, 24 km, the paper added.
The drone and the vehicle are linked with a mobile-like device, called the Android Team Awareness Kit (Atak), positioned on the chest of a soldier who can control them from afar.
The device also helps the soldiers to see the position of other soldiers while fighting, and help them avoid friendly fire, the Daily Mail reported.
The system is part of the Ministry of Defence’s Science and Technology strategy that must “ensure that science and technology is at the beating heart of MOD policies and strategies.”
Speaking at the unveiling Defence Secretary Ben Wallace emphasized the need for new armed forces equipment that is “threat-driven” and “better aligned to the UK’s future needs.”
“We are in a very real race with our adversaries for technological advantage,” Wallace said, and called for the bridging the divide between “advanced science and technology research, production, scaling, and commercialisation.”
“To succeed, we’re going to have to tap into our brightest brains across the defence industry, academia, and the whole of society,” he added. And so we wait eagerly to see what else the MOD’s been dreaming up, and as for what’s next? Well, how about drones that are grown by molecular assemblers?