Tiny eyes in the sky?
December 27, 2005 1:10 PM   Subscribe

We've knelt on the altar of the Predator UAV and paid homage with tax dollars (see related MeFi thread) but the Army (and possibly Hollywood [PDF]) and others want to go smaller and more efficient. With massive budget increases for UAV/MAV technology over the last two years and increased use of UAVs for border surveillance, [PDF] one wonders when the tiniest of cool toys starts becoming a tool for surveillance as the legal arguments for and against will almost certainly heat up. Face it - cool RC toys aren't just for amusing/terrorizing your pets anymore.
posted by TeamBilly (15 comments total)
When tiny hovering cameras become the norm, do you think they'll try to ban flyswatters?
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:23 PM on December 27, 2005

I love acronyms in FPPs. It makes them so easy to comprehend.
posted by caddis at 1:33 PM on December 27, 2005

and with umpteen links, which one contains the meat?
posted by caddis at 1:35 PM on December 27, 2005

Getting your Lazy in before the new year resolution caddis?
posted by srboisvert at 1:37 PM on December 27, 2005

Warfare is simply involving, and this is awesome from a "something new before your eyes" angle. Correct me if I'm wrong but nowhere in modern warfare has fighting a much better equipped force ever been possible.

The ability to cheaply and more effectively monitor large areas, along with being able to execute misssions with no chance of losing human life will make Iraq style wars winnable. Whether this is good or bad depends on your viewpoint obviously.

What is it going to be, twenty years or so before rolling robots are able to patrol on foot? It's kind of hard to get negative media attention with a robot being dragged through the street.
posted by geoff. at 1:39 PM on December 27, 2005

I, for one, welcome our new all-seeing flying robot overlords.
posted by JekPorkins at 1:41 PM on December 27, 2005

I hate it when they scan you and make the screen go blank for a bit...
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on December 27, 2005

Whether this is good or bad depends on your viewpoint obviously.

I think the "good or bad" use of new technologies is actually dependent on how it is used or abused. I'm sure we could all think of possible abuses in addition to the life-saving ones.
posted by melt away at 1:53 PM on December 27, 2005

God bless me, and my trusty EMP.

Note: I have not, nor ever plan to, participate in the creation, dissemination, or use of such a device
posted by Freen at 2:05 PM on December 27, 2005

I'd be more worried about my neighbors flying this plane. Luckily, it only flies about 1000' before you're done. But boy imagine the fun you could have with this...
posted by SirOmega at 3:27 PM on December 27, 2005

Getting your Lazy in before the new year resolution caddis?
posted by srboisvert at 4:37 PM EST on December 27 [!]

Sorry, but I was extremely busy today, yet still wanted to catch this post. The format put me off the task. I have since had a breather (will this workday ever end?) and the mini-spybots are interesting, and yes they do raise questions. What is to prevent your local police from flying them over your yard? Trying to get that all-over tan in your private back yard? Now the cops are passing pictures of your buff body around the precinct. Went out to a bar a couple of nights every week? Well, your political opponent in this nearly dry county now has that info. Etc.

The real fun starts when the robots are indistinguishable from bees. Is that a bee getting pollen, or a robot taking pictures of you and listening in on your private conversation?
posted by caddis at 4:58 PM on December 27, 2005

Caddis - check the legal issue link in the FPP - gets into some very interesting ground re: the airspace over your home.

Sorry about the acronyms - the initial FPP was kinda long, so I trimmed it down and used them.
posted by TeamBilly at 5:26 PM on December 27, 2005

Don't forget the neat stuff going on at NASA. Here is a link about one of the projects. Apparantly they're using it to study coffee harvests.
posted by drstein at 8:02 PM on December 27, 2005

I can deal with this. Really. I can. At least, until they create Rover.

When they do that, well... be seeing you.
posted by suckerpunch at 9:04 PM on December 27, 2005

Freen: What would an EMP do, exactly? UAVs are rather well sheilded electrically, as they're bodies are large ground planes... you'd need a small yeild nuclear device to do anything really.
posted by phrontist at 7:56 PM on December 28, 2005

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