The above video shows a four-rotor, home-made drone hovering in the forest firing a hand gun. It’s impressive. The futuristic weapon was created by a 18 year old mechanical engineering student in Connecticut, according to Gizmodo. The popular youtube video has attracted the attention of FAA investigators.
Drones have been in the news over the last decade, mostly due to its use by the military in war zones. Commonly referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, these flying machines carry missiles, cameras, and sensors. The Predator Drone, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, is the primary UAV used by the US Air Force and CIA. It has a range of 460 miles and can stay in the air for 14 hours, according to Wikipedia. It’s successor, the MQ-9 Reaper can carry 15 times the payload of the Predator and has a cruising speed nearly three times more than the Predator. It is used by several departments in the US, Great Britain, and Italy.
These military vechicles are built for war zones, which is vastly different than the calm forests of Connecticut. As more hobbyist and enthusiasts try to modify RC Quadcopters with firearms, it may start looking like the setting in futuristic movies like Blade Runner and Minority Report. Which might not be that bad. It’s cool afterall, and it would be an exciting afternoon hunting deer or tracking your friends through the woods using a RC quadcopter. Leave the ammunition for the deer and keep the paintballs for your friends. It’s also not a bad way to defend your home from door to door salesmen. Rigging a RC quadcopter with a gun and a speaker that threatens force would send anyone running away.
Here’s another video of an armed quadcopter.
Other more productive uses of drones include delivering packages. The first FAA approved delivery by a drone took place yesterday by Flirtey, an Australian drone delivery service. The first package consisted of medical supplies and was delivered from an airfield to a medical clinic in Wise County, Virginia. They beat out Amazon, which has a home delivery service called Prime Air. Amazon’s goal is to deliver small packages to customers in less than 30 minutes.