Meet KILLERDRONE! The Chainsaw Drone

Drones are an interesting piece of technology. They’ve only recently taken off (pun intended) and are now swarming over the world with adaptions for every type of activity. You can race your drone in the Drone world GP, they’ll deliver you your food or Amazon orders and are even used to used for underwater exploration. As with all ideas, there are some ideas that just raise more issues and questions than are worth, with the likes of a drone mounting a gun being one of them. The latest drone design to meet this category is the KILLERDRONE! a drone equipped with nothing more than a chainsaw.

That is correct, the KILLERDRONE! (capitals and exclamation mark are included in its name) is a drone equipped with a chainsaw and has taken off in Finland on its first mission… to hunt down and destroy snowmen. Featuring six rotors and a gas-powered chainsaw, the drone was flown into snowmen to prove that it could be used and has even been discussed as use for legitimate work such as cutting down trees.

While using the KILLERDRONE! to cut down trees may be a good idea, the idea that anyone could mount something like a chainsaw to a drone and then watch as it flew around unrestricted is quite scary. The machine was stopped eventually thanks to a party balloon, raising an even bigger question of what happened if someone stopped a drone above a populated area.

Air Force Cyberspace System is Fully Operational

I know it sounds like it comes straight out of a movie but I promise this is all really happening. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) is a part of the United States Air Force, focused mostly on supporting worldwide operations through digital means such as satellites or cyber tools. As with every part of the government and even business, any system connected to another proves a risk. One of the first ways you can limit that risk though is to limit the number of points you can access the system through. Something that the Cyberspace System can now do thanks to its fully operational status.

Fully operation status (or FOC) means that the new system is online and ready to control traffic between and in bases while also looking at the communications coming into the Air Forces operations. Previously the Air force had over 100+ regionally managed entry points to the network, imagine tracking down all those different access points if there was a problem! The new system means there are only 16, offering a much smoother and controlled entrance into their systems, effectively creating a solid wall to help reduce risks to their network and operations.

While impressed, Brigadier General Stephen Whiting, the Director stated, “This is a great achievement for the Air Force and the first cyberspace weapon system to achieve FOC.  We look forward to continued rapid progress and maturation of the Air Force Cyberspace mission. As we all know, our mission is to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace”

So next time you see that movie and they are tapping away at the keys pinging nodes from all over the world to try to find a way into your system, you can be safe that the people using those systems know what their doing and are watching out for those who might misuse them!

Fictional Weapons Come To Life As Boomerangs

You load up that new game or sit down to the latest movie and suddenly all you notice is the high-tech gadgets and weapons they seem to pull out of every nook and crevice. From Batmans Batarang to the pickaxe from Minecraft, you’ve seen them all. You’ve never seen them in real life, which is about to change as Victor Poulin has created a series of fictional weapons as boomerangs.

Poulin is from the group Boomerangs by Vic. Not only did he dream it but he has created not just one or two but six boomerangs based on film and video game weapons. If that wasn’t cool enough, he has a little video to show you that no only do they look awesome they also all work.

From the Batarang to the Pickaxe Poulin has used “the best 10inch birch on the market” to create six weapons that if someone throws at you, you should really have started running away a long time ago.

Showing honour to not only the classic boomerang designs, like Sokka’s boomerang from Avatar the Last Airbender but the more uniquely shaped weapons like Minecraft’s pickaxe and even the tomahawk from Black Op’s 2 Zombies.

I know that if push ever comes to shove, these weapons are something I’d rather be using than facing. If you could see one weapon from a video game or movie come alive as a boomerang, what would you choose?

Obama Orders Study Into Smart Gun Technology

Smart guns are nothing new, they are the concept of using technology to not enhance guns but to make them easier to track and ensure they are used by the correct people for the correct reason. It would seem though that President Barak Obama hopes that smart gun technology can be used to stem gun violence in the U.S.

In a memorandum, the departments of Defence, Justice and Homeland security were told to look into smart gun technology. Obama is rumoured to be using his authority to push forward extra gun control measures in his last year, within the statement he stated that “developing and promoting technology that would help prevent these tragedies is an urgent priority”.

Smart guns would allow guns to be outfitted with radio frequency trackers, or even fingerprint scanners, which would allow lost or stolen weapons to be traced more easily and then require authorisation to use the weapon in the way of a fingerprint scan respectively. Alternatives include having a small watch device on your wrist, with the gun only discharging when the watch and the weapon are within a certain range, thereby limiting the number of people that can pick up and use the weapons with ease.

With 90 days to report their findings on the study, the concept has already come under fire from the national rifle association with a spokeswoman Jennifer Baker saying that “there is nothing in this set of proposals that would improve public safety“.

With these requirements and the idea to licence anyone selling firearms, not just in store but also at events or online, the idea of limiting or tracking firearms more effectively seems to be at the core of the new proposals.

It will be interesting to see the results of the studies and the subsequent comments from the NRA and government authorities regarding Smart weapons as upgrading anything with technology is often seen with sceptical eyes from everyone.

Image courtesy of the Verge.

Airforce Wants Its Jets To Have Lasers By 2020

141116-N-PO203-042
ARABIAN GULF (Nov. 16, 2014) The Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (ASB(I) 15) conducts an operational demonstration of the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS) while deployed to the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

Everyone loves a good laser, be it shot into the sky at a festival, or at your favourite hero as they try to save the galaxy. Even the real world is liking them, with more and more of science fiction being created and used in the real world. The Navy have even created and mounted a rail gun onto a ship  while BAE are looking at magnetic force fields.  Now even the Airforce want to get in on the science fiction weapons and mount “lasers” onto their Jets by 2020.

Dubbed Directed-Energy weapon pods, the devices will be mounted onto jets and will use beams of directed energy to ‘burn’ missiles and UAV’s, with the hopes of being powerful enough to even combat other aircraft. With a large contract on the line several companies have come up with solutions, HELLADS (High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defence System), from General Atomics, runs off a single lithium-ion battery and is small enough to fit onto a predator drone.

With the possibilities of being mounted to both land, sea and air vehicles, laser technology could revolutionise the way we act against other weapons. With the ability to shoot down missiles and heat up and melt the components in vehicles laser technology could quickly become the new step in modern warfare.

Thank you Engadget for the information.

Image courtesy of LiveScience.

North Dakota Police Will Utilize Weaponised Drones

Drones used to be a thing of the future, small robotic creatures that would fly around and swarm the skies. They would be included in Hollywood blockbusters such as Terminator and even the ones where they help us survive such as in Transformers. With devices that can seek and destroy from ground level to your forty story apartment, they were quickly developed and created for everyday tasks. Now with thanks to a lobbyist from Dakota the first drones with weaponry might soon see deployment.

With recent years, fears over drones carrying weapons are known to have caused a ruckus in many circles, with people like Steven Hawking requesting that drones avoid automation in order to reduce the threat from them. The Rick Becker’s bill would have seen that all drones in Dakota could not be equipped with weaponry, but an amendment by Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association, has banned the drones from carrying anything deemed a lethal weapon. This means that less lethal tactics such as pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons and even Tasers could soon see deployment at the bottom of a drone.

The initial bill was created to force police to obtain a warrant before using a drone to collect evidence while also banning weaponising the free flying devices. With this sudden escalation, all eyes will be on the Dakota police and how they choose to deploy drones with anything other than a camera.

Thank you The Daily Beast for the information.

Image courtesy of Gary Friedman (Los Angeles Times).

Weaponizing a Frisbee

Well I can’t see too much wrong with this, said no none ever, if you thought drones were potentially lethal, then take a look at this Internet YouTube star by the name of Joerg Sprave, who has devised a prototype, of a weaponized Frisbee, of sorts.

The basic premise is quite simple, this maverick inventor has taken an ordinary everyday garden Frisbee before attaching Surgical Scalpels to it. Below is a screenshot of the finished item.  As you can see, it rather looks like a 99p Doctor Who villain and would certainly end in a nasty outcome if it connected with some poor soul while out for a picnic if thrown.

But does it actually work?  There is a video which conveys the designing, building and testing and is below, Joerg Sprave aims his creation at a target before throwing it.

The end result is that it does indeed attach to things,

Here is the making of Youtube video which includes demonstrations of a new kind of leaf and box cutting

This may be a low tech design, but it could be implemented in real life scenarios with lethal consequences, especially  if this idea is further modified.  If you thought parks and open spaces were just too dull, then why not liven them up with a dystopian future where you have a slightly less sharp mid-air guillotine.

You know that report in the last few days which stated that Amazon treats its employees really, really badly, where did Joerg Sprave by his Frisbee, you guessed it Amazon, lets hope Jeff Bezos does not nick this idea before calling it an “employee improvement plan”

If you would like to view other inventions by Joerg Sprave, then by all means view his YouTube channel

 

Counter Strike: Global Offensive’s Well-Known Bug Gets Acknowledged by Valve

If you are a Counter Strike: Global Offensive player, then you probably know about the bug. However, let’s outline it again for those of you who might not have experienced it, though it is highly unlikely if you have played the title by now.

In a shooter video game, there are two main coding aspects to take into account when firing a weapon at a character. First, the actual bullet/ray, or whatever you want to call it, is triggered once you fire the gun to check the direction and objects it hits in that direction.

The second most important aspect is once a character is hit by the bullet, it needs to find out what part of the body is hit to appropriately reflect the player’s damage/health.

This is where things go nasty in CS:GO. The hitbox that needs to determine what body is hit is actually a bit quirky, leading to a lot of moments where you want to smash your keyboard because you now you shot him in the head, but he acts like you barely grazed him.

After a couple of videos that clearly emphasise the issue went hot on Reddit, Valve finally acknowledged the bug that has been present in the title since it first launched. However, they were unable to provide an ‘eta’ on the fix. The videos can be viewed below. So how long do you think it will take Valve to solve it?

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of enemyesports.com and videos courtesy of Reddit

Combining Night Vision and Thermal Imaging

We are all familiar with night vision and even thermal imaging, the idea of being able to see (with a green hint) in the dark of night and then see people glowing like yellow dots in the woods, has long been used in both real life and video games. But what would happen if you were to combine both of these systems into one? We may see the results soon thanks to the U.S. Branch of BAE Systems.

Titled ‘Rapid Target Acquisition’ (RTA) technology, it combines the functionality of a night vision headset and a thermal headset into one. Currently in the production and qualifying stages the new system, created in partnership with the U.S. Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, could soon be seen for field testing.

Combined with a wireless video interface the new system can stream the weapon sight imagery to the users goggles in real-time allowing them to see exactly where their system is facing, and receive the benefit of the technology at the flick of a switch. With the combinations of the systems, the need for aiming lasers at night are all but removed, allowing the users to avoid shining a bright light on a situation they would rather hide from.

Listed among its benefits are lower power, reduced battery usage and operating costs and the light weight and small size nature of the system.

Image and Information Courtesy of BAE Systems.

US Army Now Testing Clip-on Ray Guns

Ray Guns, the perfect example of what we thought futuristic military combat would involve, is starting to become a reality. The US Army has already started fitting some of their trucks with powerful laser systems and missile defence systems, now it looks like they’re making good progress at miniaturising the technology, as they’re now outfitting ground troops with their latest beam weapons.

Created by Army Armament Research electronics engineers James E. Burke, the device is known as the “Burke Pulser”. The Pulser is an attachment device which can be fitted to standard rifles and uses a piezoelectric generator, as well as a pair of protruding antennas to generate powerful electrical bursts.

The whole system sounds pretty futuristic and by fitting it to an M4 Carbine, much in the same way you would a standard flash suppressor, it can quickly turn the gun into a ray gun; awesome!

While we’re not going to be using these new weapons to fight off laser-wielding aliens just yet, the new weapons are perfect for frying the electronics of IEDs and roadside bombs. It’s still early in development, but with an estimated price of $1000 per unit, the new technology could quickly help save lives in the near future.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

3D Printed Guns Now Illegal In Philadelphia

Personally, I thought 3D printed guns were already illegal, given that their not licences, incredibly dangerous to the user (they tend to explode when fired), not to mention the fact that they’re cheap and practically untraceable. However it looks like I was wrong, and Philadelphia has just stepped up and banned 3D printed guns their state.

Now it is not like there is a 3D printed plastic gun war happening right now, especially since The Liberator 3D printed gun is currently the popular choice, which is to say the least a bit rubbish, no big surprise really as it is a gun made from plastic after all. This ban is more a preventative measure, staying ahead of the curve as 3D printing becomes more mainstream, and the technology improves.

It is good to see a legal system paying attention to such trends, but maybe this one is a tad pre-emptive.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Extremetech.