In news that is not at all terrifying, the US Navy this week showed off a new surveillance tactic: a swarm of synchronized drones that are fired out of an enormous cannon.
First spotted by Defense One, the Navy says that up to 30 of the drones can be fired out of the cannon within a minute and then perform pre-programmed surveillance missions for up to 90 minutes. The program even has a horrifying acronym: LOCUST, which is short for Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology. (If there is one saving grace of these cannon-fired drones, I suppose it is that they are “low-cost.”)
The Navy posted a video of LOCUST to YouTube on Wednesday. Each drone is shot out like a firecracker, and then flies away. There is also a video game simulation of the drones blowing up what appears to be a desert compound. No word on whether this will be out on PC, Xbox, or PlayStation:
As Defense One points out, the synchronization of drones is not new: Drones have been programmed to dance with each other and with Cirque du Soleil, and a Hungarian research team last year showed that drones could flock like birds.
This is perhaps the first time, however, that drones have been synchronized with one another after being fired out of a cannon. Would you like for someone to fire a drone out of a cannon at you? Let us know in the comments.