Oh, what a tangled web the world weaves. A South African firm Desert Wolf (that sounds friendly, right?) who counts the UN, among others, as clients has just announced the availability of a world first crowd control drone.
While the idea of using a flying robot to control crowds seems a bit messed up, considering the number of times that footage has appeared of things just going badly, it might be good to have robots dishing out the justice. This way, we human beings can all feel comfortable and also, “Hate the robots,” rather than the policemen who get caught up in the unfortunate circumstance of shooting rubber bullets or using a taser. Abstracting ourselves from the implementing of certain things makes them feel a lot more impartial and, truly, takes the concept of equality much further. So maybe it’s a good thing that we’ve got drones, robots at our disposal soon to deal with this?
Robots like this could target equally, based on the settings, marking targets with various color paint pellets. Distinguishing among classes and groups of targets does sound nifty. Having just watched the latest X-men movie about how mutants were singled out based on their genes, or their propensity to have offspring with the mutant genes, made them eventual targets of the crazy robots. Terminator, Matrix, you see where this is all going right?
Even still, it’s the United Nations among the British and other countries that count Desert Wolf as a supplier and provider of services which they pay for. When considered in that regard, it is more, “Human,” to dispense with things like gunning down a series of protestors with paint balls rather than more extreme measures, which the company makes reference towards. So this innovation seems designed to save lives, which is great for society overall.
Let’s not forget that Google, the cute advertising company, also owns tons of robot drones
The future is here, and it’s being mechanized, automated and scaled faster and faster. Over the past few years, Google Inc, whose fortunes are dominated by their advertising programs, acquired multiple robotics companies not too dissimilar to Desert Wolf. These firms also had contracts with DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which if you read Marvel comic books, might as well be S.H.E.I.L.D, given their track record of investments and influencing technology way ahead of it’s time.
Maybe I spoke too soon about the X-men movie, DARPA and the state of drones. When we stop off at the DARPA home page, check out the image that’s presented today:
Now let’s look at the bad guy robots from X-Men: Days of Future Past:
Ya, I don’t see a resemblance either. Good thing, too. Otherwise, I’d start to think that (spoiler alert, don’t read next the rest of this paragraph) Wolverine hadn’t succeeded when he went back in time via Astral Projection. Of course, for fans of the comics like me, the places where reality did not line up, or there were open ended questions never answered, that happened in the comic books, too, when I was growing up with Wolverine. It was a handy plot device for the Marvel team, I think, to experiment with different story lines and possibilities with characters we all loved.
Getting back to the theme of using a drone for crown control, or public safety, the question is not, “Will we have the technology?” but, “How do we best engage with this technology in a way that benefits the whole of society?”