Riot Control Drone
Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.
As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.
Initially, I wanted to write about an awesome graphical overview of the civilian drone landscape, created by SkyTrails, available at Scribd. Unfortunately, I had to change that plan, as I feel strong compulsion to write about this creation: Skunk Riot Control Drone.
Dronologista is a blog that covers non military drones only. That means drones that are being used for value creating things like aerial filming, precision agriculture, logistics, art etc. It explicitly excludes drones that are being used for military operations and whose purpose is to search & destroy, since I am of opinion that those UAV are getting enough media attention already.
However, someone figured that arming a drone, a multirotor, with non-lethal armament with an intention to use it on humans, could be a good, value creating, economically feasible idea. That someone is a South African company Desert Wolf, known for their camping and other specialized offroad trailers.
Their product, a UAV called Skunk, is a octocopter equipped with four high-capacity paint ball barrels, that could shoot protesters with dye markers, solid plastic pellets, or small capsules of pepper spray. It is controlled by two human operators, one controlling the flight of the UAV, and the other controlling the payload. Despite the price tag of around $46.000, already 25 of Skunks have been sold to mining companies in South Africa, notorious for their problematic treatment of mine workers and frequent riots. That is the scariest thing actually: apart from quite brilliant engineering, there is nothing good about this flyer, yet it seems to be a market success, confirming once more saying: guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
Knowing how crowds usually react to drones hovering over their heads (check the video below), it is not hard to imagine the outrage this drone would cause.
Anyway, dronologista thinks that much better application of this drone would be against poachers, and hopefully someone will get idea out of this post (e.g. applicants for the UAV Conservation Challenge)
If you want to find out more about this product, you can check Desert Wolf page.
Image courtesy of Desert Wolf.