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Libyan Rebels Get Drone

By Chief Robot | Filed in Security

Canadian company Aeron Labs has sold an Aeryon Scout to the Libyan rebels for an undisclosed amount.  This quadroter drone can be set up with a pre planned flight path, or you can just touch the touchscreen to tell it where to go.

The particular version the rebels received also has a thermal imaging camera, allowing the drone to see at night.

Aeryon Labs states:

While NATO countries fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) high above Libya, none of these UAVs, or the vital intelligence they provide, was available to the Libyans fighting to free their country – they were fighting blind. So, they got one of their own. The Libyan rebels have been using the Aeryon Scout Micro UAV to acquire intelligence on enemy positions and to coordinate their resistance efforts. This video gives sample photos and video from both the Scout’s daylight and thermal payloads.

 

According to Wired, Aeryon Labs worked with private security firm Zariba and had the drone hand delivered by Charles Barlow, who runs Zariba.  Charles states he spent no more than 24 hours training the rebels how to use the Aeryon Scout.

See our previous post, Amazing Spycopter.
Link via (Wired)

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Helicopter Drone Fits In Your Trunk

By Chief Robot | Filed in Security

InceptorYet another tool for law enforcement similar to Shadowhawk, but without the weapons or thermal camera. A small helicopter drone named Inceptor from a company called Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.

This drone has a weight of 3.5 lbs and can fly for up to 24 minutes at a time at speeds of up to 24 miles per hour. Inceptor has an electric motor that uses lithium polymer batteries that are easily swappable.

It also has a range of 1/2 a mile, but that can be extended with a beefier antenna.

Ground control comes with a touchscreen that has augmented reality and vehicle status.

It will be made available to law enforcement agencies for a price of $50,000.

Link to Inceptor Spec Sheet (pdf).

Link via (Robots.net)

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Robot Helicopter

By Chief Robot | Filed in Security

Shadowhawk A new robot helicopter by Vanguard Defense called Shadowhawk has been released.  Shadowhawk has a range of 35 miles and can fly up to 70 miles an hour.  It can come equipped with a turbine or piston engine.  All models come with a Sony FCB EX-980 CCDTV camera as well as a FLIR Photon UTAM-32 Thermal Camera.

If you are in the military, then you have the option of adding a Taser XREP,  40mm, 37mm grenade launcher or 12 gauge shotgun with laser designator.  Yes, you can now get a robotic helicopter with a grenade launcher!  Now hold on a minute, get those ideas of launching hand grenades at your neighbor out of your head.

We are not quite sure how this will play out in regards to licensing if you as an individual want to use one.  Considering the News Corp’s The Daily has a drone and may or may not need licensing. Kashmir Hill from Forbes states:

Hobbyists are basically free to use drones as long as they keep them under 400 feet. At this point, civil and commercial use of drones is only allowed for research and development purposes. “Not for compensation or hire” says one FAA notice. To get government permission to use a drone (for non-hobby purposes), a private entity has to jump through hoops including getting an airworthiness certificate — meaning the thing is safe to fly — and an experimental certificate, approving the planned use of the unmanned system (uses are currently limited to research and development, marketing surveys, or crew training).

Vanguard Defense has already won a bid to supply Mongomery County in Texas with the Shadowhawk for it’s Homeland Security efforts.

I guess law enforcement gets to circumvent the licensing.  Why do they get to have all the fun?

Click through for a video of Shadowhawk in action.

Link via (Wired)

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Amazing Spycopter

By Chief Robot | Filed in Security

Aeryon-ScoutFrom Aeryon Labs in Canada comes an amazing new quadrotor called Scout.  Scout weighs only around 1 kilogram and while carried disassembled, it quickly snaps together. Scout has a range of 3 kilometers, can travel up to 50 kilometers an hour and withstand 80 kilometer an hour gusts of wind.

Pre planned flight paths can be used or you can simply click on the map on the control screen and Scout will go to that location.

The payload area is easily swappable and you can put in either a video camera that can stream video to any device like an iPhone, or a thermal imaging camera.  Other payloads can be easily developed.

Click through for a video of Scout catching a bad guy in action using the video camera.

Update 8/24/11 – Libyan rebels get Aeryon Scout drone.

Link via (IEEE Spectrum) via  (Ubergizmo)

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Robot Conquers Pirates

By Chief Robot | Filed in Security

RS ship boarding robot2ReconRobotics has reached an agreement with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) to develop a robot to help combat piracy on the high seas.

The prototype shown here is based on the Recon Scout Throwbot.  The Throwbot is very light and capable of being dropped up to 30 feet vertically and still maneuver and transmit video. Using magnetized wheels, the new robot will be able to climb up and over the hull of a ship.

Alan Bignall, President and CEO of ReconRobotics states:

We believe that this micro-robot platform could help mitigate maritime piracy threats and protect the lives of naval personnel and anti-piracy teams.

Finally, a way to get rid of those pesky pirates.  But what if the ship is not metal, but made of something else like fiberglass?  I assume most really large ships that contain valuable cargo are made of metal, but maybe not the ship the pirates rode in on.  Also, no word on how someone would get close enough to actually put the robot on the hull.

Link via (Forbes)

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