Would you invent, develop, fund and deliver a high-precision weaponized drone that can invade indoor spaces – one with the technical capability to kill humans with advanced AI algorithms? Most people especially in the western world, would most likely answer this question with a firm “no”. It is however that same group of people, that represent a majority from all age groups, all genders and backgrounds, that would not only agree on the need for a national defence institution but would also trust this institution more than others.
Enclosed spaces, from tunnels to caverns to the interior of buildings, are poor fits for aircraft. Even relatively stable vehicles, like four- or six-rotor drones, still risk weird aerodynamics and can abruptly crash into people, walls, or anything inside. But there’s a compelling reason to at least consider drones that can fly inside buildings: that’s where the people are.
Armed drone is a real street fighter
The unmanned aerial system, which has six rotors and is about a metre long, will be deployed in urban conflicts. Commanders predict that more battles will be fought in densely populated cities, posing an additional risk to personnel. It is the UK military’s first weaponised drone to be able to fly inside, using a combination of physics and AI that allow it to overcome “wall suck”, which causes drones with heavy payloads to crash because of the way they displace air in small rooms.