Sci-(Non)Fi: Insect Drones

April 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

Ray Stevenson as Firefly

If you were like me and spent too much money to see a mediocre movie called G.I. Joe: Retaliation this past weekend, you saw Cobra agent Firefly use a swarm of firefly drones to blow stuff up.  Though the scale of these fiery explosions is a bit disproportionate to the size of the charge, the idea of insect-sized drones is nothing new, and according to RT, the U.S. Air Force already has a working prototype.

Though I don’t have any video of that, here are a few videos that demonstrate that the technology is out there.

This 2009 video features a DARPA-built radio-controlled cyborg beetle.

And this scary video shows some sparrow-sized robots flying in formation:

Considering the questionable use of the drones already deployed around the world, the implications of insect-size drones is much scarier and dramatic than what I saw in the theater last weekend.

For actual science fiction, in last week’s issue of Think Tank by Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal, a ghosted 3D printer prints out a drone.  That’s as much as I can say without spoilers, but at this point in time, 3D printers don’t print anything with moving parts, much less remote control.

Be sure to check out MetaMorphosismy horror webcomic about a veteran who wakes up one morning transformed into a zombie!


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