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New Bird Shaped Drone Shown at Security and Defense Trade Show

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the it's-a-birds-it's-a-plane-it's-big-brother dept.

Government 124

garymortimer writes "SHEPHERD-MIL, a UAV which looks like a native bird with the same flight performance, will be featured at HOMSEC 2013. This UAV is characterized by the glide-ratio and noiseless motor that make it invisible, silent and unobtrusive in sensitive missions. SHEPHERD-MIL is equipped with cameras and geolocation software. The system is especially suitable for border surveillance missions, firefighting, and anti-drug trafficking operations amongst others."

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124 comments

Hyphenation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445851)

"Bird-shaped"

The way it's written now, I parsed this at first as "Some new bird shaped a drone that is shown at a security and defense trade show".

Re:Hyphenation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446105)

Even with the hyphen, it can still be read as "shaped by a bird". Perhaps context and common sense can help ease the confusion.

Re:Hyphenation (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year ago | (#43446143)

Even with the hyphen, it can still be read as "shaped by a bird". Perhaps context and common sense can help ease the confusion.

Shaped by a bird colonel?

Re:Hyphenation (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year ago | (#43446197)

Native bird, they said. Border protection. Must look like a roadrunner.
If the bureaucracy has much to do with it it will look like an emu.

Re:Hyphenation (4, Funny)

teaserX (252970) | about a year ago | (#43446645)

Oddly, there are number of emu ranches in the southwestern U.S. so that would not be out of place. An emu in sky might, however, raise an eyebrow.

Re:Hyphenation (1, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43447545)

And having dealt with crazy paranoid stoners more than once can you guess what is gonna be the outcome? A shitload of dead birds as the paranoid drug runner takes out every bird in the sky "just in case"..

Re:Hyphenation (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year ago | (#43448109)

There exists the Boeing Chicken launcher for testing jet engines with frozen chickens. We will just upscale the cannon to accept an emu for tribal sacrifice.
Burning man...won't raise an eyebrow.

Re:Hyphenation (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year ago | (#43447679)

The eye in the sky is nigh!

Re:Hyphenation (1)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about a year ago | (#43446769)

I first read it as "New bird shaped drone shot down at Security and Defense trade show."
Maybe I've been living in the south way too long.

Firefighting. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445857)

Everyone knows that fires are blind to birds. Their one natural enemy.

Compound adjectives require hyphens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445867)

http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/adjectives_compound_adjectives.htm

Firefighting? (4, Insightful)

Mr2cents (323101) | about a year ago | (#43445873)

Why would you disguise a UAV as a bird if you want to use it for firefighting? Also, it's just a press release infomercial, some guys want to put their hand in the military money jar so they put some feathers on a remote controlled airplane. Awesome... not!

Re:Firefighting? (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about a year ago | (#43446021)

Same reason troops are used to fight forest fires: If there's no immediate need in the primary mission, no reason not to employ them in something else they're capable of doing. Versatility.

Re:Firefighting? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about a year ago | (#43446433)

Maybe so, but it's obvious that its primary mission will be military in nature. Sure, retasking military resources for civilian use can be a Good Thing, but using one of these without retrofitting or demilitarising it? Not a Good Thing, IMNSFBHO.

Re:Firefighting? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446075)

It is shaped like a bird so they can give the taxpayer the bird.

Re:Firefighting? (2)

4wdloop (1031398) | about a year ago | (#43446101)

Ditto..."border surveillance". I'd think we'd want border surveillance to be visible as deterrent, no?

Re:Firefighting? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43446387)

Depends on whether visual deterrence or effective enforcement is more important.

Not that I'm suggesting this is for anything but spying, likely including domestic spying since it would be undetectable...drones are just one of those technologies with a terrible positive application:negative application ratio.

Re:Firefighting? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43447669)

Not that I'm suggesting this is for anything but spying, likely including domestic spying

given that it's a (north American?) native crane, domestic spying seems the only spying use.

Re:Firefighting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446335)

Gee it might be good for firefighting, and I assume that want they meant to say was that it would be good to gather fire intelligence. Of course either the aircraft would need to be capable of flying quite fast or it would only be used when winds would be quite low. Fire intelligence, or "where the hell is the fire, there's too much smoke to see it" would probably only be obtained from the UAV if it flew in the smoke over the fire but a vigorous fire produces strong thermals which could rip the wings off or carry it way up or the down drafts could smash it into the ground. If there are other aircraft around then the UAV would need to fly quite high to stay out of their way.

So let's consider what performance the UAV would need. It would need to be autonomous since it would be out of sight of the pilot, it would need to be able to fly at speeds well in excess of the winds that are routinely encountered, say 100 mph, have a ceiling of 15,000 ft. or better yet 25,000 ft. and stay out of the way of other aircraft such as airliners that fly at those altitudes. It would also need a really good GPS and really good attitude detection or the images cannot be located geometrically. Looking like a hawk or vulture is just the icing on the cake.

Re:Firefighting? (1)

martas (1439879) | about a year ago | (#43447117)

Perhaps: good at gliding => can use rising air columns from e.g. forest fires to stay in the air much longer.

Re:Firefighting? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43447719)

You have a UAV. Why not use it for firefighting? It's not any better or worse than any other UAV for that purpose.

Re:Firefighting? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43447977)

Probably because small UAVs are terrible for firefighting to begin with.

Re:Firefighting? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43448951)

They are good at fighting fires. You go up high and get a more localized view of the wind/smoke, and good recon on your own guys, especially if radio is spotty (or more practically, the people brought in for the biggest fires aren't familiar with the local surroundings).

Yes, I get the pedantry of "good recon doesn't put out a fire, water does." If that's truly your stance, you should take radios away from all the fire fighters as well. After all, a radio never put a fire out.

Re:Firefighting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43448287)

Festo's Smartbird was demonstrated at a TED conference in Edinburgh in the summer of 2011, so such things
aren't exactly "new". The video link to see the bird fly (impressive!) is below:
http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/22/festos-smartbird-robot-flies-through-the-air-at-ted/

firefighting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445875)

Where is FIREFIGHTING mentioned in the article ?

OP read article or gtfo with slashvertisment

Re:firefighting (0)

Mr2cents (323101) | about a year ago | (#43445889)

quote: "The system is especially suitable for border surveillance missions, firefighting, and anti-drug trafficking operations amongst others."

Re:firefighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445963)

The summary you moron

Re:firefighting (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43447721)

Because UAVs have uses in fire-intelligence, and this is a UAV.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445881)

I suspect that many innocent birds will start being killed by criminals as a result of this.

Re:Hmm (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43446123)

And I hope many guilty drones by hunters who were hoping for a trophy.

It's just so win-win...

Re:Hmm (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year ago | (#43446159)

And I hope many guilty drones by hunters who were hoping for a trophy.

It's just so win-win...

Its not drone season.

Re:Hmm (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43446241)

It's always drone season (*cocks shotgun*).

Re:Hmm (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43447437)

I'm waiting for the drones to get more miniaturized, as my current drone defense system can handle sparrows and tits. He did bring in his first starling yesterday, but I doubt he'll ever get whatever poop bombardment device the drone in TFA is supposed to masquerade as.

Re:Hmm (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43447703)

I'm waiting for the drones to get more miniaturized, as my current drone defense system can handle sparrows and tits.

If a DARPA project could get drones to look like tits, would you really want to sic your cat on them? Some things you just have to handle yourself, especially if they turn out not to be drones..

Re:Hmm (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#43447003)

"What is Man that thou art mindful of Him?"

It's a plot by George 10 to have people get used to robots before they take over.

Interesting patent issues... (3, Interesting)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43445907)

If you follow one of the links inside the linked article for this, you find an interesting statement about some software available on iTunes called Parrot:
Parrot removes FreeFlight 2.2 from iTunes [suasnews.com]
French manufacturers of the worlds most popular UA have plainly run into problems. They issued a statement yesterday:- AR.Freeflight 2.2 was removed from iTunes last month due to the need for patentsâ(TM) clarification on accelerometer and absolute control...
In a couple of years time I donâ(TM)t believe anyone will be left flying UAS with conventional RC gear when the smartphone in their pocket will be able to cope.

It's talking about a way of controlling RC aircraft using your smart phone with a map-view control system rather than using a standard stick-controller to control the plane's pitch/yaw/roll using the control surface actuators directly. It's a shame that even software to do basic things like this has to deal with patent crap. Boo software patents!

Re:Interesting patent issues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446365)

Cool, your smart phone can work on a point to point connection with your UAV at 2km away.

And a wifi mesh network with give you great capability under 50ft, and of course with a 4 sec lag.... nicewhen your moving 10m/s.

iPhone control is cool, but I'd trust mechanical controls before accels or gyro sensors for a long time.

Re:Interesting patent issues... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43446503)

Why on earth would you release something like that on iOS? Any kind of industrial/commercial control app needs to be on an open platform where it can be installed without permission of the OS vendor, otherwise you risk being cut off at any moment. Android is the obvious choice, and rugged handsets/tablets are available too.

Re:Interesting patent issues... (2, Funny)

ThePeices (635180) | about a year ago | (#43447363)

Why on earth would you release something like that on iOS?.

Because if you are cool enough to fly spy drones, you need to be seen doing it with the bestest phone in the whole wide world.

Would Steve (peace be upon him, hallowed be His name) be caught dead controlling spy drones on an Android? Of course not, and neither should you.

Silent? Bird-shaped? (1, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#43445909)

Its not necessarily the shape or the noise that give UAVs (and other such aircraft) away. Its the propeller and the high frequency modulation of radar or its optical signature that gives these away.

Re:Silent? Bird-shaped? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445985)

Radar is a problem. But so far, few criminals bring a radar to check if the birds are real. And if they did, you could easily track smugglers by their use of radar anyway.

Shaping it like a bird gets rid of problems with the optical signature. To take this to a logical extreme, start with a stuffed eagle when building your UAV.

The propeller can be hidden from accidental view. Put it on top of the "bird", where body and wings will hide it from the ground. Transparent plastic might make it difficult to see too.

DIY radar? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446233)

Interesting. Wonder if a drone detection system could be put together using the magnetron and power supply from a microwave oven as the illumination source.

The idea would be to mod the power supply to give stable, well filtered HV to the magnetron, radiate using a dish antenna (lots of wifi dish antennas out there for 2.45 GHz) and look at the return signal for high frequency modulation characteristic of a propeller. Filtering the return for F>10Hz or so should get rid of most natural modulation effects. Hummingbirds excepted.

Using a dish brings its own problems with narrow beam and having to scan. Maybe an omnidirectional system using a quarter wave vertical antenna above a ground plane? Free space wavelength at 2.45 GHz is about a foot, so a quarter wave stub is only about 3 inches high. You would want to mount the antenna on a mast so it didn't expose nearby people to the RF. Maybe pulse the illuminator to give ranging info?

Plastic props might be detectable. They won't reflect like a metal prop would, but they do have a refractive index different from air, so there will be an index step reflection. Carbon fiber props should give a quasi-metallic reflection signature. Metal parts (which includes wiring harnesses, etc.) in the drone should generate returns, but they won't be modulated by the props, so LF-reject signal processing won't help.

This seems doable. Therefore, somebody will do it.

Re:DIY radar? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43447731)

Too complex. The easist way to tell them apart is to look closely at them on the ground. $20,000 of electronics sounds cool, but a $1 bullet will make it much easier to inspect, presuming you can hit it.

Re:Silent? Bird-shaped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446025)

Sure, if the subject is monitoring radar, these won't fool many people, but if the point is to spy on civilians...

Re:Silent? Bird-shaped? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43446221)

Definitely expect these peering into your windows in a few years' time. I'm glad I'm over 40 - I'll probably be dead by the time the true "Big Brother" state arrives. But it's certainly coming.

Shape versus behavior (1)

Yo_mama (72429) | about a year ago | (#43445935)

If they're truly wanting to make the thing "look" like a bird, they need to model a bird's flying style. Predators move around an area and search; if these just stay in the same spot or even evenly patrol an area it's going to stand out.

Re:Shape versus behavior (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43445953)

It's a bird!

It's a plane!

(Somebody really needs to come up with a Superman UAV.)

Re:Shape versus behavior (3, Funny)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about a year ago | (#43446017)

It's a bird!

It's a plane!

(Somebody really needs to come up with a Superman UAV.)

Somebody did! [youtube.com]

Re:Shape versus behavior (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43446161)

It's a Birdplane [youtube.com] !

(Hey, you asked for it...).

Re:Shape versus behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446063)

they just applied some paint on it to look like a bird and they called it "bird-shaped". And the biggest stupidity of all, they claim it is "noiseless", like, if you ever got yourself close to one of these, noise would be the first thing to reveal that this isn't a real bird..duh

Re:Shape versus behavior (1)

seyfarth (323827) | about a year ago | (#43446077)

If they're truly wanting to make the thing "look" like a bird, they need to model a bird's flying style. Predators move around an area and search; if these just stay in the same spot or even evenly patrol an area it's going to stand out.

They also need to flap the wings to look like a bird. After a few seconds of viewing a soaring bird, lots of criminals will now shoot it down just to be sure.

Re:Shape versus behavior (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#43446135)

At 400' shooting down a bird flying with anything but a missile is damn near impossible.

The best portable way would be modified version of something like the XM-25 delayed explosive, grenade launcher. that would be as close to a portable flax cannon as you can get.

Also at 400' you have to be able to spot the thing. Drones that size are all but a small dot in a very big sky. Made of wood, fiberglass, and carbon they have next to nothing for radar return.

Re:Shape versus behavior (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year ago | (#43446325)

I didn't RTFA, but the pictures make it appear to resemble a hawk. Have you ever watched a hawk? They ride thermal updrafts in a circular motion and rarely flap their wings once in the air. It also appears to be pretty large compared to most hawks, so I would guess this would allow them to circle much higher than most hawks and still look convincing. So they could cover a very large area with a high zoom camera.

Re:Shape versus behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43447799)

They'll also get a lot more footage like this [youtube.com] because other birds are naturally inclined to do this. [youtube.com] Kinda amusing when you think about it.

Such a stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445961)

How low can you go? This is the most idiotic idea alive. This is extremely bad for the local native bird populations.

For domestic consumption (1, Interesting)

johnjaydk (584895) | about a year ago | (#43445967)

Call me paranoid, but the camouflage of this bird only works against low-tech opponents. So it's only useful against wet-backs, smugglers and other criminals. Plus, the general public.

Re:For domestic consumption (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43446217)

And now take a wild guess which of those it'll be. Hint: It's the ones that can't simply shoot down birds "just in case".

Re:For domestic consumption (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#43446449)

I don't know about you but even most drug dealers don't carry around portable radar units, Portable radio tracking units, etc. that can cover all bands.

The Military uses fixed location or large airplanes to do that. If you have a man or even car portable unit the Military is interested in funding further development.

Re:For domestic consumption (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43447755)

They do carry guns. Guns work on birds, last time I checked.

Re:For domestic consumption (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#43448101)

Um have you ever even touched a real gun let alone shoot one?

Hitting a moving target 400' with a slug(rifle, pistol shotgun) is very difficult. Shooting 400' UP is damn near impossible. Hitting a smaller target is far harder than a large one. That bird is 20-30% smaller than a human(Hitting it in the wing once won't bring it down unless your lucky. Only going through the electronics or battery pack will cause a lethal hit.

Now bird shot which can take down birds(and these planes) has an effective range of less than 100'

Sure guns can range hundreds of yards accurately. but the shooter the man hold the gun is normally only good for 1-2 hundred yards at man sized targets.

Re:For domestic consumption (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43448863)

Hitting it in the wing once won't bring it down unless your lucky. Only going through the electronics or battery pack will cause a lethal hit.

If you hit it, even winging it, that's sufficient to identify, at a distance, whether it is bird or plane. The posts I was responding to were about identifying it, not eliminating it.

Re:For domestic consumption (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#43448221)

undoing all my moderations in this thread to correct some ignorance:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSTAR

get with the times bro. they can and do mount these in vehicles, and then can and do carry these things by hand.

without getting into specifics they are sensative enough to living things.

Re:For domestic consumption (1)

Filter (6719) | about a year ago | (#43446687)

Also, I fear for the real birds, it's very easy for someone with a rifle to shoot down a soaring rappter. If someone were growing weed in the woods real birds will be killed, many are endangered or recovering.

Re:For domestic consumption (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43447005)

You don't shoot the birds down. You hide from them. Shooting the birds down just tells them where to look to find you.

Drug Trafficing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445999)

I imagine this would be quite useful for drug trafficing. (At least for high value per pound drugs.) I am surprised they can get away with suggesting that use in a press release though.

"...sensitive missions...firefighting..." (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | about a year ago | (#43446005)

Because, after all, you wouldn't want the fire to know it was being watched.

Omg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446069)

That bird is not flapping its wings!

Re:Omg (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43446355)

Many large raptors don't flap when hunting -- in the USA, red-tailed hawks, bald and golden eagles, turkey vultures...

Bane for the real birds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446079)

How long before paranoid terrorists and militants start killing anything that looks like the harmless and peaceful avian population?

Re:Bane for the real birds? (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43446349)

How are you going to hit a vulture hundreds of feet in the air? Spray rounds at it with an AK47 until one of them just happens to hit?

Re:Bane for the real birds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446379)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeet_shooting

Re:Bane for the real birds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43447563)

The traps launch the targets to a point 15 feet above ground

Not even close.

Caption: asinine. Awesome.

Re:Bane for the real birds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446419)

Spray rounds at it with an AK47 until one of them just happens to hit?

Yes. That's how most AAA works.

"for safety and protection" purposes (1)

froth-bite (2777385) | about a year ago | (#43446095)

Won't somebody rid me of this albatross ?

And it doesnt work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446139)

Sorry but battery tech makes this thing useless for anything but very VERY short recon runs. Like 10 minutes MAX flight time. Until we invent cold fusion reactors all of this stuff is nothing more than engineering masturbation. Awesome concepts and builds, we lack the technology for a power supply to run it long enough to be of any real use other than a demo

firefighting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446177)

How dumb do you think we are?

Re:firefighting? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43447909)

Very, if you think there isn't a use of drones in fighting wildfires.

Meanwhile Over at the VA . . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446305)

The Gun Grabbing continues
http://xrepublic.tv/node/2921

I know this hasn't hit ya yet, cause maybe ya haven't heard yet.

Shrinks are now gun grabbers. LIE on your medical shit forever forward.
Better yet, stay out of the system/tornado or it will suck you in.

Been wondering about this for a while... (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43446341)

... why nobody's made a drone with the profile of a vulture. In the US, at least, some species of vulture is common in most areas. They're big (so there's room for interesting hardware, and perhaps even a grenade-sized glide bomb), they're black (so no need to worry about mimicking particular coloring), and they don't flap. They also ride thermals; it shouldn't be that hard to program a drone to sense updrafts and use them to stay aloft.

Re:Been wondering about this for a while... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446431)

All along the southern border of the US raptors are a common sight. The prototype being displayed by the sales droid in TFA indicates that this UAV is close in size to adult native species in that area. The only thing that might give it away is its flight pattern.

Re:Been wondering about this for a while... (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about a year ago | (#43448309)

All along the southern border of the US raptors are a common sight. The prototype being displayed by the sales droid in TFA indicates that this UAV is close in size to adult native species in that area. The only thing that might give it away is its flight pattern.

If it could enter or look into forests, it'd also work for detecting outdoor pot farms in California's state parks & forested regions. (I'm not joking -- up here in Mendocino & northern Sonoma counties, the heavily armed guards & traps left by Mexican drug cartels [sfgate.com] & regional gangs have made it dangerous to explore off-trail like people used to just a generation ago.)

In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446507)

..all large birds of prey in the middle east suddenly hunter to extinction in frenzy of paranoia.

Can we leave the birds out of this? (3, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year ago | (#43446537)

Birds have enough problems without being always shot at on sight because they might be spies.

Re:Can we leave the birds out of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446653)

Are you kidding? They're just casualties on our "war against our environment". Every war has casualties. Grow up!

Re:Can we leave the birds out of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43447007)

Don't kid yourself. If a bird ever had the chance he'd eat you and everyone you care about.

Bird pooper button (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43447023)

...for that touch of authenticity

Re:Bird pooper button (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about a year ago | (#43448349)

...for that touch of authenticity

They could actually use it as a marking system to make it easier for ground crews to find spots and to "tag" suspected criminals, if they use a formula that starts off looking like normal bird poop, then turns a fluorescent color and can't be washed off. (Having it start out looking like poop would prevent the offenders from realizing it's not a normal bird and shooting it down before it can escape.)

Perfect for spying on people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43447163)

Nobody will suspect a bird flying over their house. This is perfect for spying on you! :)

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about a year ago | (#43447213)

Well, actually... it's a little of both.

Target practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43447619)

As soon as people suspect being watched by one of these things, they'll just start shooting birds at random. So maybe they should make them look more like pigeons instead of some of the more rare species out there.

Oh, and paint the messenger pigeons yellow.

Re:Target practice (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#43448249)

counter intuitive logic actually. If they look like pidgins, that people will be more likely to accidently shoot at them, and no one gets mad at anyone for shooting pidgins.

If you make them look like Bald Eagles, our national bird AND endagered speices, it'd make rounding up anyone who shoots them that much easier. Shoot a Bald Eagle by mistake and they'd have a very serious charge to throw at you, and will win you few symathies, either from patriots on the right, or conservationists on the lef.t

That said, I could not imagine that shooting at drones would be smart. It'd instantly alert the authorities, and they'd have just cause of arresting you right then and there, and sort the rest out later for damaging government property. They'd also have ballistics from whatever gun you used.

Re:Target practice (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#43448889)

They'd also have ballistics from whatever gun you used.

Unlikely. The bullet is likely to blow right through the bird, and land somewhere over-thataway.

You don't actually get all that much ballistic info from the bullet hole....

Native to North America? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43447635)

Expect to find lots of dead cranes now. Make your next drone look like a drug trafficker, and the problem solves itself (unless the purpose was to spy on ordinary citizens).

Actual Birds (4, Interesting)

Flere Imsaho (786612) | about a year ago | (#43447651)

I fly RC quite a lot, and it's not uncommon for birds of prey, gulls and magpies to attack model planes. Magpies, especially when broody and you are near their nest, will attack relentlessly. A mate has a plane that's shaped and painted to look like a hawk, and he reckons he gets twice as many attacks when flying it compared with his more conventional rigs.

So I wonder what the lifespan of these things will be?

Wow really leading edge shit... I saw one at my lo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43448075)

It's only enemy is Elmer Fudd and the Duck Dynasty boys.

Not that impressive (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about a year ago | (#43448277)

I was expecting a little more. It looks like its just a standard model airplane with a little reworking of its controls so it can operate without a rudder and a high resolution camera. I highly doubt it would look very convincing in a real world situation. Maybe flying off in the distance it might fool someone for a bit but once it was overhead it would become apparent pretty quickly that it wasn't using its wings naturally for control & propulsion.

Bounty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43448467)

In the borderlands there was a bounty on ravens; no one there ever dared assume any raven was just a bird.

Google Earth in Real Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43449563)

with so many drones to come to our skies, it won't be long before Google Earth and it's Street View feature go "Real Time."

Welcome to the real "Second Life."

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