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DreamHammer Wants To Corner the Drone OS Market

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the special-interests-with-guns dept.

Security 125

nonprofiteer writes "The Pentagon is increasingly transforming the military into an unmanned force, taking soldiers out of harm's way and replacing them with drones and robots. In 2011, it spent $6 billion on unmanned systems. The problem is that the unmanned systems don't work well together thanks to contractors building proprietary control systems (to lock government into exclusive relationships and to make extra money). A company called DreamHammer plans to have a solution to this — a universal remote control that could integrate all robots and drones into one control system. It would save money and allow anyone to build apps for drones. 'DreamHammer CTO Chris Diebner compares it with a smartphone OS — on which drones and features for those drones can be run like apps. Of course, Ballista is doing something on a much larger scale. It means that it takes fewer people to fly more drones and that new features can be rolled out without the need to develop and build a new version of a Predator, for example.'"

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Oh the possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028913)

It would be like some some of net, in the sky.

Re:Oh the possibilities (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029953)

DreamHammer - terrifying name.

It would save money... (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028941)

That's un-possible!

Re:It would save money... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40031099)

Control all kinds of war robots from one single, easy-to-use terminal?

What could possibly go wrong!

So when Iran captures the next one... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40028953)

... they'll be able to hack all the rest.

See! That is the kind of convenience that smart businesses know how to provide to their customers!

Re:So when Iran captures the next one... (3, Insightful)

autocannon (2494106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029271)

Exactly. Making each unmanned system have its own interface and potentially communication protocols is another layer of security. This is the military, manpower cost is nil. Having an all powerful remote control system just screams single point of failure!

Re:So when Iran captures the next one... (2)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#40030099)

This is the military, manpower cost is nil.

What are you, trapped in World War II? Manpower cost is anything but "nil". It is probably about half, or even more, of all military spending.

2011 US military spending, $ billion:

Military personnel 162
Veterans benefits and services 127
Military construction[1] 20
Family housing 3
Operation and maintenance[1] 291

All other military spending[2] 230

TOTAL 833

[1] Some large part of this is obviously connected with manpower.
[2] Everything else includes procurement, r&d/test/eval, "atomic energy defense activities", and "defense-related activities" - the portion

Whoosh! * 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40030207)

That's two separate whooshes, you dunderhead.

Or was you trolling?

Re:So when Iran captures the next one... (1)

autocannon (2494106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40031225)

You don't follow me. I'm not referring to the training costs. Nor the housing, nor the benefits. I'm referring to the costs of actually putting troops in place to do something. If you have a squad of 20 people who operate the drones, those 20 people are paid for the position, not the hours of work. Making all 20 run the drones for days on end costs the same as 1 who can operate all drones by himself.

Now I know you're saying, "look there's cost savings in getting rid of those 19 guys". Except, this isn't a corporation where they get rid of people whose jobs are eliminated. This is the military, those people remain in the military.

Don't obsess over the numbers. The biggest flaw of this concept is the single point of failure. The military will always attempt to avoid any systems that include a single point of failure if it can be avoided.

Re:So when Iran captures the next one... (1)

destructifier (2426792) | more than 2 years ago | (#40030597)

securing technology with complexity doesn't work... that's what encryption is for.

The prophecy of the Simpsons. (5, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028967)

The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea.
They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall
mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by
small robots. And as you go forth today remember always your duty is
clear: To build and maintain those robots. Thank you.
-- Military school Commandant's graduation address, "The Secret War of
      Lisa Simpson"

Re:The prophecy of the Simpsons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029501)

One Ring to rule them all
One Ring to find them
One Ring to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them

Re:The prophecy of the Simpsons. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029637)

Nope, they will be fought at home when the the military industrial complex have removed all the troops with their pesky weaknesses like having a conscience when firing on fellow countrymen.

Re:The prophecy of the Simpsons. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40031101)

Why waste time on all this. Battle Mechs will not only utterly destroy the enemy but make then scream and run like children.

All we would need is 3 MadKat Mark II's and 3 pilots and a single small support base.

http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Mad_Cat_Mk_II [sarna.net]

IF we could as a country make that technology work, Just one can take out a column of modern tanks all on it's own.

Dreamhammer's Wants (5, Funny)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028977)

Oh sure, but what about my wants. Who's to say that my wants aren't going to corner the drone OS market instead?

Re:Dreamhammer's Wants (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029183)

...and me without any mod point's.

Solve the problem (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028989)

Let's solve the problem of government being locked into exclusive relationships with other vendors by - locking them into an exclusive relationship with us! But our dog and pony show is more elaborate than theirs.

Re:Solve the problem (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029269)

Let's solve the problem of government being locked into exclusive relationships with other vendors by - locking them into an exclusive relationship with us! But our dog and pony show is more elaborate than theirs.

More like, Our show has dogs AND ponies! Plus you can reuse the old dogs and ponies from all the other shows you bought (with a minimal "rework" fee)... In the long run, you will save money with us, as we are pouring money into R&D to perfect the hybrid dog/pony that will be future proof!

Re:Solve the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40031273)

As a proof of concept here's our prototype monkey/pony.

What do you mean you don't like it? Did we use too many monkeys?

Re:Solve the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029981)

Umm DMCA?

Dreamhammer's what? (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028993)

Dreamhammer's what wants to corner the drone OS market? Don't leave me hanging here...

Re:Dreamhammer's what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029113)

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves

Re:Dreamhammer's what? (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029403)

The panda's eats, shoots and leaves.

Re:Dreamhammer's what? (1)

xevioso (598654) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029639)

Because of the apostrophe in the word "panda's", this sentence makes no sense.

Re:Dreamhammer's what? (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029743)

And it made no sense in the original headline (which appears to have been corrected). It originally read "DreamHammer's Wants To Corner the Drone OS Market."

Re:Dreamhammer's what? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029905)

"Eats" can be a noun. It means food. It is rather archaic and possibly slang, but I've heard old people us it that way, i.e. "shall we go fix us some eats".

Having said that, it would then lack a finite verb.

On the third hand, it would be a valid and true answer to "What's in your van?" if you were engaged in transporting victuals (which rhymes with "skittles" in case you didn't know), embryonic plants and flat photosynthesising elements that belonged to a black and white bear-like creature.

Works as intended, DreamHammer is dangerous! (4, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40028997)

Look, there is a reason that some Army guy has a different method of access to his unmanned recon tracked vehicle than an Air Force guy has to a Predator with Hellfire missiles, who has different methods of access than a weather drone pilot in the Navy. That separation creates very large walls that make it difficult to make mistakes.

Should the Pentagon have requirements for how a User Interface should look and feel? Hell yes they should. There should not ever be a simplified method of access across platforms. It's extremely dangerous.

On the other hand, I'm sure someone in the Pentagon has a friend or relative that needed cash so put out a bid on something like this despite the extremely obvious dangers.

Re:Works as intended, DreamHammer is dangerous! (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029291)

a universal remote for war toys? what could possibly go wrong? it's not like anyone's abused a universal remote for something else. and these exclusive relationships we're locked into... what happens when the honeymoon's over? are we on a subscription? do they just hand the remote over to north korea if they pay more? do they have a backdoor override on everything?

And what happens if we fight over the remote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029503)

I Love Lucy?
Dukes of Hazard?

Re:Works as intended, DreamHammer is dangerous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029311)

Based on your argument creating the protocol TCP/IP was a bad idea for the federal government too.

Re:Works as intended, DreamHammer is dangerous! (2)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029513)

I guess you lack any knowledge regarding how the Government communicates over TCP/IP. Encryption hardware is not shared between sites. Access is takes multiple parties to configure. Everyone knows how TCP/IP is unsecured by itself, which is why we have encryption that sits over the top.

Do you need me to Google encryption for you coward?

Re:Works as intended, DreamHammer is dangerous! (1)

devilsdean (888911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40030909)

I guess you lack any knowledge regarding how the Government communicates over TCP/IP. Encryption hardware is not shared between sites. Access is takes multiple parties to configure. Everyone knows how TCP/IP is unsecured by itself, which is why we have encryption that sits over the top.

Do you need me to Google encryption for you coward?

Th problem isn't the encryption, it is the implementation of encryption and the control of the keys. Sure end to end TACLANEs are awesome, it is a guaranteed end to end, software independent, solution. Encryption was available and "implemented on the predators, however it was not implemented the proper way leaving the video feed vulnerable to a $15 piece of software that could run on portable monitors. Had that vulnerability in the implementation not been discovered sooner, the control channels could have been interacted with as well. Shall I google bad implementation of encryption for you, or did you feel like just being a smartass?

Re:Works as intended, DreamHammer is dangerous! (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40032317)

You appear to be trolling so far OT and from my point I'm wondering if it'll be worth the response.

If anything, the lack of a proper cypher configuration on the Predator is a prime example of why we don't want a Universal controller for all of the DOD UMV systems. We let enemies see the GPS tracking signals at best, and C&C instructions at worst. Now ask yourself why it was not enabled and configured?

Money. Politicians and Military Leadership wanted to save a few bucks so released and launched them early. Do you think that money is any different of a motivator for a universal access system so that a single interface can access any and all UMVs?

You think there is no security risk in doing this? or that TCP/IP in general terms is the same amount of risk? You are making an apples to shit eating whale comparison.

Re:Works as intended, DreamHammer is dangerous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029489)

None of this disparity was intentional, it is wht results from separate eveolution of similar capabilty. Note that the military is beginning to adhere to certain standards for these efforts as well.

Re:Works as intended, DreamHammer is dangerous! (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40030157)

Um, yes it was intentional. The Army itself did not want the Navy to have access to it's UMV systems, the Air Force did not want the Army to have access to their UAV systems, etc.. This is working as designed. There are very good reasons why General Dynamics works on Army products completely isolated form Navy products. Boeing does the same with Air Force/Navy/Marines projects, as does BAE with Marines/Army. Separation is required by all branch standards.

There is a separate project and program for battlefield command and communications which is a joint effort and designed to be available to all branches.

until we have some hardware communication standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029001)

it will end up being like ROS: lots of features, but not robust.

but nonetheless--it's an ideal that makes sense in the coming years...

Unintended consequence (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029013)

Hack one system, own all the drones.

Re:Unintended consequence (2, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029359)

Hack one system, own all the drones.

...then target the telemarketers who keep calling my mobile phone.

Re:Unintended consequence (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40031121)

Nuke them from orbit, the collateral damage is worth it.

Maginot Line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029015)

I seem to recall the Maginot Line becoming the Siegfried Line.

With luck there aren't any young Matthew Brodericks out there with modems...

Re:Maginot Line (2)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#40030673)

The WW II era fortified line known in the west as the Siegfried Line and known to the Reich as the West Wall was a separate line to the Maginot Line. It was built by the Germans in the 1930s. They were two separate things.

Imagine... (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029017)

A beowulf cluster of those!

Sorry... just making the mandatory beowulf-comment. :-D

Capitalism in decay equals imperialist barbarism (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029019)

The only power that can stop it is the international working class! Smash imperialism with international socialist revolution! For new October revolutions! Reforge the Fourth International!

Re:Capitalism in decay equals imperialist barbaris (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029989)

That worked SO WELL the first time.....

They stole my term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029021)

I give my wife the "dream hammer" every night.

Re:They stole my term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029317)

The dream is you having a wife

Riiight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029023)

"...new features can be rolled out without the need to develop and build a new version of a Predator, for example.'"

The reasons for new Predator design have nothing to do with software or OS. It's all hardware driven.

Insane (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029025)

That the US military doesn't own the rights to the technology they are paying to have developed. If they did they could implement their own control systems, or take future development to another contractor.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029115)

Militaries should outright own the tools with which they fight. Renting stuff, like, say, hiring mercenaries to do your dirty work always comes back to bite you in the ass and we're smart enough to avoid mistakes like that.

Oh, wait...

Re:Insane (3, Interesting)

Scarred Intellect (1648867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029375)

I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!

Do you realize the technical ineptitude in the military?

Our Network guys didn't even know what a routing loop was, or how I could take down the network in this one relatively unguarded room (that happened to house the routers).

We were lining up a satellite for our network access and it had to point x degrees; my lieutenant (college grad, because all officers are required to have Bachelor's degree in {INSERT RANDOM FIELD HERE}) requested I ask the guy if this azimuth had to be shot from the base, and if so if it was along the side or from the center.

I was the only non-officer in my company that could keep a generator running; if it died, no one knew how to start it, despite the instructions being written fairly clearly.

A sergeant fulled said generator with oil until it was full (full being to the top of the fill-tube). Then we had a geyser of oil coming out of the exhaust. A Marine was moving our front end loader and rounded a left hand corner that had a bank sloping down to the right...with the bucket up. Of course it tipped over.

These are but a few examples I've seen. The Army's SOP (standard operating procedure) for the Raven B UAV system is to stall it at 100-150 feet (I think) and let it fall to the ground to land. We were taught that $1000 in damages for 5 flights was acceptable/expected. The Marine's SOP was to do the same but at 50-75 feet to minimize damage.

I was a Marine. I'm proud of my service, but I'm not proud of the Marine Corps. It's full of a bunch of coddled stupid pussies. But the military should NOT be in charge of their own control systems for technical devices, not without a lot more technical education for those serving in the technical fields, which isn't going to happen with 4 years of service then treating everyone like shit so the majority leave.

Re:Insane (1)

techsimian (2555762) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029723)

So what you're saying is Stripes was pretty accurate, 'cept for the John Candy part.

Re:Insane (1)

Immerman (2627577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40030351)

Perhaps they shouldn't control/develop it themselves, but they should own it. Just like a man may own a ship but hire someone better qualified to act as captain or mechanic. As it stands now if the military decides they want feature X that their contractor doesn't want to add or, god forbid, discovers their contractor is selling back-door access, then they're SOL and have to start from scratch. If they owned the tech (i.e. have the source code and the right to have someone else develop it) then they can just find another contractor to do the work.

Re:Insane (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40031231)

I made a Army Comms Major shit himself when I showed him how easy it was to find a satelite in the sky.

I grabbed my iphone, fired up dish pointer pro, lifted the phone and said, "Right there is USA-207. Isnt that the bird you guys use for Comms for the middle east?"

He just stared at me mouth open and then asked where did I get that program. as it was far more advanced than anything the US military has.

Re:Insane (1)

drerwk (695572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40032405)

It is a little more complicated. The services tend not to build from scratch each time they buy something, and they want to pay as little as possible. So they might buy a tank from Big D Contracting, and Big D say we have this motor that would work great in your tank, but we designed it on our dime, so we will build them for you and service them, but we own the design and maybe some patents on the motor it is so great. It is much cheaper to buy a tank with the Big D motor that than to pay for a new motor design.

Now consider cheep and quick turn around software, and maybe a custom drone. Sure you could add requirements that the drone interface with other drone systems, but that jacks up your dev, test, and integration test costs and pushes your schedule back. The services rarely want to pay in cost or schedule for interoperability and it does not come for free - ask any SW dev.

Insist on a common standard (2)

hey (83763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029045)

The govt can just insist on a common standard. They have the power here.

Re:Insist on a common standard (2)

mallgood (964345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029109)

They already do. It's called STANAG.

Re:Insist on a common standard (1)

redneckmother (1664119) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029539)

They already do. It's called STANAG.

Huh? I thought it was SNAFU!

Re:Insist on a common standard (1)

neonv (803374) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029997)

I work in the drone industry and I'm involved in the communication systems they use. Hence, I know that the government has standards for interoperability of drones. Not only that, but NATO has standards for drones (e.g. STANAG 4586). There are companies that make ground stations for use with all military drones (DreamHammer is one of many), only possible because of the standards. The standards keep chaos at bay when dealing with the large numbers of drones. Contrary to popular belief on Slashdot, the military does a good job with standards across contractors.

Re:Insist on a common standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40030529)

Except that STANAG is more of a listing of x standardized ways of doing the same thing. UAV A opts to do it one way, UAV B opts to do it another. Both are STANAG compliant. Both are incompatible with the STANAG compliant ground station. Not exactly a "standard" then, is it?

The real need in UAV design is modularity. Airframe X works with autopilot Y, sensor package Z, and ground station A. Right now, Predator is a full system from airframe to autopilot to sensor ball to ground station. Global Hawk is a full system. Both are STANAG compliant too. There is no way in hell a Global Hawk ground station can control a Predator or vice versa. Similar capabilities should be modular, disparate capabilities should be handled by exception. Why aren't both aircraft fully autonomous? Why can't I use a stick and throttle to control Global Hawk like I can Predator? STANAG is a mirage that UAV vendors hide behind to claim interoperability while designing cradle-to-grave systems that have no hope of operating in conjunction with other vendor's systems.

Re:Insist on a common standard (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#40030217)

They "can" and they "should", but when was the last time that happened?

Nonexistent problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029051)

Yeah. Not going to happen. There are already protocols and standards (STANAG 4586 [cdlsystems.com] , etc) that take care of this. Not to mention the billions already spent by the government on developing these standards. So this sounds like a solution to a nonexistent problem.

Re:Nonexistent problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40031893)

Ballista is an open and extensible CUCS that supports 4586 and whatever else you want. The author does NOT understand what she's talking about.

mavlink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029079)

I would not be surprise if they just took MavLink and created a military compliant framework.

And of course sell it for a million bucks cause it, itself is proprietary (licensed).

Completely Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029105)

A common control system provides a single entry point for attackers. You could lose your entire army.

Dumbest thing ever.

Re:Completely Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029169)

<sarcasm> Yes. Because they use the same encryption key and network setup for every UAV.</sarcasm>

Surprising... (4, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029125)

I thought Cyberdyne Systems was the leader in this area.

Re:Surprising... (4, Funny)

jheath314 (916607) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029223)

Want to exterminate humanity? There's an app for that!

Re:Surprising... (1)

RedDeadThumb (1826340) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029919)

I thought Cyberdyne Systems was the leader in this area.

That was in the other timeline!

Re:Surprising... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029957)

Their obvious competitor, at least for land-based units rather than airborne, is Omni Consumer Products.

Let me guess the name of this OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029135)

Skynet?

testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029137)

1 2 3

Re:testing (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029377)

meet exciting real drones ready RIGHT NOW **shoot HERE****

Perfect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029145)

One ring to rule them all ...

$6 Billion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029203)

6 BILLION DOLLARS??????? That kind of money couldn't have been put into a better use???

The world is fucked up. I pity the following generations. You are all doomed.

Yes, today the drones... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029227)

Tomorrow, SkyNet!

Of course this also means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029255)

Should the government decide to turn on it's own citizens they won't have to worry about soldiers rebelling. It's easier to kill people when you don't have to look them in the eye.

Really? (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029265)

Thought we already had this...it's callled SkyNet

HammerTech? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029303)

Didn't Tony Stark warn us about the use of HammerTech in military applications?

soon (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029351)

we'll have plugins required for drones that will allow you more features. And drone app walled gardens that work very well and look nice, but don't allow you to use that drone for anything outside its intended purpose. And drones that search real well but want to serve you ads for maintaining the hardness of your drone's armor during missions.

Let me paraphrase LOTR (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029433)

One system to rule them, one hack to control them all!

Command & Conquer in real life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029437)

Remember that game or StarCraft II? Westwood or Blizzard and those game players will probably do a better job then Pentagon!

You mean? (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029443)

You mean they don't all use MATLAB like this [slashdot.org] guy?

Weak Military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40029705)

If I sell a bolt to the Military it has to conform to standards and pass certain tests.
If I sell software to the Military I can dictate the terms?

The Military should define their specification then have systems conform to that, anything else is plain lazy and deserving of the problems derived.

I for one (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029727)

Welcome our new DreamHammer overlords with a private army of drones that were bought and paid for by the US Taxpayer.

Hmmm (1)

GReaToaK_2000 (217386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029877)

Doesn't Nelson Paez look kinda evil in his picture? Not that that matters or anything but it certainly wouldn't make me feel his company should be trusted with this project.

fiction:
Baltar was weak and look what his system did.

just random thoughts while coding the day away...

Bad Idea (1)

glorybe (946151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029883)

When different OSs power these drones it provides a form of security. If an enemy found a way corrupt or control a universal drone OS it could provide an enormous tactical advantage. It could either cause your drone forces to be non functional or at the very worst perhaps turn those forces against you.

Just got back from Afghanistan... (1)

IDtheTarget (1055608) | more than 2 years ago | (#40029897)

And while our control links to our UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are encrypted, the video feeds are NOT. And we *know* that the bad guys are tapping into the video feeds when we have UAVs overhead. Which just goes to show that contractors can do some silly things.

Not sure I like the idea of having ALL of our UAVs and various robots using a single OS. Because unless it's VERY secure, I can forsee a time when the bad guys hack the OS and our drones/UAVs/robots/etc are used by them against us...

Re:Just got back from Afghanistan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40030145)

Hmm. I don't know what UAV you were using.. but I know the ones I work on have all data between the ground and air heavily encrypted.

Monoculture (1)

big dumb dog (876383) | more than 2 years ago | (#40030033)

So the Pentagon is intentionally considering a technical monoculture for the operating systems of military drones?

Who is going to make the anti-virus software – Haliburton?

Re:Monoculture (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 2 years ago | (#40030525)

The Pentagon isn't considering this, intentionally or otherwise. It is merely the wet dream of some wannebe defense contractor.

Proprietary Sensors (1)

devilsdean (888911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40030815)

I think this has all of the makings of a waste of taxpayers dollars. They "might" be able to integrate all of the controls into one single point of failure. However, most of the sensors are proprietary government COTS solutions that are just slapped inside an airborne platform. The chances of this company being able to write code to work on all of the commercial closed source intelligence sensors are slim to none.

Common Drone OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40030817)

Of course a Zero Day exploit in the universal OS could end a war very quickly.

Of course the name should be ... iDrone (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#40030997)

Too bad the name is already taken by a company making a drone control system that runs on iPhones and iPads!

Thus making it easier for the Chinese to hack (1)

Lynchenstein (559620) | more than 2 years ago | (#40031303)

Only one target OS. Is it fair to say that the US android arsenal is "fragmented"?

US Constitution will corner the drone market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40031331)

But first...

Something unacceptably bad has to go wrong

One Step behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40031577)

As a previous defense industry employee, I can say (legally too!) that the big firms like Raytheon, Boeing, and General Dynamics have been working on this for years. The various military branches have also created an open framework for UxV (that's all unmanned vehicles) so that simpler, integrated control systems can be created. Although, the idea of doing something like this on a mobile phone is novel idea.

Best Evil Company Name Ever (1)

chris7crows (1522761) | more than 2 years ago | (#40031599)

"DreamHammer, crushing your hopes and fantasies since 2003."

Skynet (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40031613)

A botnet of these things is not a pleasent thought at all. There are good reasons a lot of critical military hardware runs on sysems specced out with redundant hardware running different CPUs and OSes.

It's all buzzwords and clip art. (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40032475)

Check out the DreamHammer site. [dreamhammer.com] It's all buzzwords and clip art. "DreamHammer is comprised of the most brilliant minds in the world." Yeah, right. There's absolutely no detail on what this is, or how it works, or what it interfaces to. Does it talk to ROS,or JAUS, or any of the other autonomous vehicle packages. They don't say.

The addresses don't check out, either. The one in Santa Monica (nice location, three blocks from the beach) appears to be a law firm. The address in Virginia [dreamhammer.com] is something called "International Research and Development Solutions, LLC" [internatio...opment.com] . The location in Hawaii (nice location, three blocks from the cruise ship docks) is in an office building mostly full of lawyers.

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