Friday, April 30, 2010
A research team at Stanford University is pursuing a project that would allow small flying drones to meander around, identify targets, land on walls and sit there (aka hide) . Such devices deployed by a government -- or by anyone else --would facilitate surreptitious espionage, surveillance, and physical attack on ordinary citizens -- that is, on everyone.
(For example, in Arizona, legal citizens could be able to get RF tags that would wave these drones away, while anyone not possessing a working tag -- battery's dead, too bad -- would find themself in a scene out of Hitchcock's "Birds," attacked from the air, from nearby walls, and even have these things land on their backs and hang there.)
As it says in their white paper: these devices could "identify suitable locations, execute controlled, low-speed landing maneuvers on arbitrary surfaces, cling and crawl to save power while conducting surveillance, and jump to regain airborne mobility".
Surveillance...They could also murder.
Here's their white paper:
To be "fair" to these particular researchers, this kind of development is inevitable.
New technology creates new opportunities. Politics must shape and control whether these are opportunities for good or evil, opportunities to "serve mankind" for good or for supper.