Air Force Research Lab's vision for military MAVs

In a recent blog post we've asked if autonomous battlefield robots can behave more ethically than humans. But today's weaponized robots are not the only ones that raise ethical concerns. The development of miniature robots will soon allow surveillance to move out of the cyberspace, bringing privacy concerns to a new level.

A video released by the Air Force Research Laboratory and published via the Chicago Tribune now shows how the military envisions the future use of micro air vehicles (MAVs) for both, surveillance and direct attack missions using chemical or explosive payloads.

The video shows a swarm of MAVs being dropped out of a high flying airplane and then goes on to explain how the MAVs could be hidden in plain sight, for example disguised as flies or doves. It envisions MAVs forming sensor networks to enhance their sensing and operating capabilities, and harvesting their energy from the environment including power lines to extend their mission time indefinitely.

As we've reported previously these MAVs are well on their way to becoming a reality. Let's hope we will find some less controversial uses as well!

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