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back to article US Air Force studies fruit-flies to build killer insect swarm drones

The US Air Force is engaged in wacky research on fruit flies manoeuvring within a heavily instrumented "simulation tunnel" in order to develop tiny, potentially murderous insect-sized flying robots. According to a statement issued yesterday by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), research underway at in …

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Happy

Countermeasures?

So I take it that shipments of novelty electric flyswatters to the middle east will be going up, then?

Does anyone know if Zap-O Novelties is listed on a stock exchange somewhere?

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Terminator

The "blow off" is gonna be difficult.

Not enough oomph in that package. Try a drop of VX.

Yes, Lem's Upside-Down Evolution is in progress.

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Black Helicopters

gee wizz

"Amazing what they can do nowadays"

No, you are completely wrong, it is scary what they can do these days and what we allow them to get away with. We are all wooed by these kind of gee wizz articles but just think what uses our benevolent leaders will put these device to. Of course they will say its for our benefit and to track down and monitor terrorists, but ultimately they will be able to keep a close eye on any of us.

Time to stock up with a fly swatter.

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This will of course result

In the development of robot Orb and Wolf spiders to counter the robot flies.

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Joke

And what then?

A robot bird to catch the spider? (That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside 'er?)

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Anonymous Coward

Them's just the adversary. The enemy, that's the army!

This is their way to get back at those groundpounder remote drone pilots, isn't it?

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Black Helicopters

Prey

I assume none of these boffins have read Michael Crichton's Prey; let's hope they don't actually make them fully autonomous!

See also: Second Variety

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Black Helicopters

Just one thought springs to mind...

Pull.

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Hollywood may be interested

Why does this feel more like the pitch to a producer for a Hollywood disaster flick? I see the Cyberswarm series, where microbots turn on their erstwhile masters as a sure fire money winner.

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Go

I Think They Already Released Such a Fly-Brain

It Can Already See Russia From It's Backyard !

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Flight of the Bumblebee

Does the thought of ANY military with the capability to do this scare the living shit out of anyone else, or is it just me? :|

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Big Brother

Interesting times...

Who knows where this sort of tech will lead society?

We need the late Sir Arthur C Clarke now- he was always good at extrapolating this sort of thing.

Anyone care to step up?

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FAIL

Easily prevented

.....have they thought about the rolled up newspaper?

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Actually ...

Most flying insects travel from dark to light. Have flies in your house? Close the drapes & open a door. The pests will fly outside. At night, turn out the lights inside & turn on a light outside an open door (car headlights work well). Don't laugh, try it.

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FAIL

RUBBISH!!!!

They ain't gonna get this working in my lifetime.

Sounds like a promotional video to a blockbuster movie!

Epic Fail if you ask me

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RoTM: Hegemonizing Swarms One Day?

fly="fly=%c%s%c;main(){printf(fly,34,fly,34);};";main(){printf(fly,34,fly,34);};

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Terminator

That video

...sounds like the opening of Patlabor.

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Big Brother

Windows?

So does that mean one will find future government spying robo-flies bouncing repeatedly against a window behind the shades? If they have metal components the "tink" sound metal makes against glass will be a dead giveaway its a not a real fly, even if they were able to make it look/sound nearly so.

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Query to subeditor

you seem to have deleted the para mentioning DARPA's involvement, please correct and repost.

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Joke

Was the video Wikileaked?

This isn't something I'd want the whole world to know about.

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This will lead to breakthroughs.

Very soon we will have the development of countermeasures: sophisticated sensor technology and precision MASER diodes. Might be the Chinese military pushing it...might be commercial interests worried about industrial espionage. I think this is the first step towards a point-defence energy weapon.

We start by tracking and frying robot bugs. We move on up to jets, planes and helicopters. Remember kids, you don’t have to vaporise them, merely fry their electronics…

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Joke

Possible problem

So if these are modelled on flys does this mean they'll be able to find there way into a building through a half-open window, but completely unable to get back out again?

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They won't fly.

They are terrible forms which won't fly, and would be noticed.

How will they power those tiny creations I ask?

And what's a wind gust that it requires such a specific definition, a fart, in which case avoid the optic flows.

This is crap, they should be ashamed, make games or make weapons not both!

I'll tell them how to power them if they ask.

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Scaling Problems

Biological bugs are feeding all the time. I wonder where these things will be able to recharge.

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As you asked Dave Bell.

You asked how to recharge these creations well:

If they're small enough and efficient enough they can be powered from gaining electrical charge from background radiation and then would only fail due to mechanical fault which was mentioned in the video.

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Megaphone

In Reality

..the Russians have this already. It's called "insects infected with bioagent". Delivery by any sort of covert means like Spetsnats teams in a civil truck full of the bugs.

Or a low-flying helo coming in under the Radar. Or a a Cessna taking off in St Petersburg, painted with D-EBOLA and releasing the insects over any large town in 2000 kms range. Simply land the aircraft on any suitable piece of grass and come back by train.

During the cold war there was more than one successful "training run" with helos, Cessnas and even F-4 (Luftwaffe stupidos) very deep into enemy airspace. From both sides.

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How fortunate we (humanity) are

to possess institutions like AFOSR to serve our basic human need to devise ever new means of killing our fellows ! Fortunate, too, that our limited monetary and intellectual resources are devoted to such noble pursuits....

Henri

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Stop

Well

..don't take this too serious. This is probably all part of a "science-based information operation", i.e. Good Ol' Propaganda. I have seem more of this here.

You could see it as something offensive, or it's just one of these funny ideas like SDI, which never work in as advertised in the glossy papers.

American Scientists are normally on the ethical level of an American Used Car Salesman. For example Mr Marvin Minsky (prominent MIT prof) was claiming he could build a "machine more intelligent than humans" by 2001.

My assessment is that the MIT can build a Funding Whore by 1994.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe

Here's hoping they don't sell any to anyone called PJ :o)

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Happy

Talking about a buzz kill...

See title...

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Millenium bug?

Does look very like the one in the yellow triangle. Wonder if it will be any more potent.

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Didn't they have these in _The Diamond Age_?

Airborne nanobots for surveillance and other purposes, that is.

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Jobs Horns

These two articles kind of reinforce each other ... USA is nosediving.

http://www.alternet.org/world/149080/4_scenarios_for_the_coming_collapse_of_the_american_empire/?page=entire

4 Scenarios for the Coming Collapse of the American Empire

The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagine

http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cjv14n2-7.html

HOW EXCESSIVE GOVERNMENT KILLED ANCIENT ROME

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