University of Michigan engineers took first place at last year's International Aerial Robotics Competition with a flying robot that came closest to completing all the tasks. (Source: University of Michigan)
Now that FAA has approved some drones to fly over US airspace, general public might watch this competition closely to see what to expect of the latest drone models. To say the least, what will the future bring? Drone swatting devices, like brooms, could be very useful.
I like the idea of adding a crotchety person with a broom to the obstacles! But seriously, I wonder if a magnet is really the best device to pick up a flash drive...? First, not all drives would respond to a magnet. And second, could magnetism damage the files on the drive?
Somewhat, but not entirely, facetiously, I wonder if we'll soon see some sort of earthbound device to shoot down tiny drones. Tiny surface-to-air missiles seem like they'd be too costly and a bit heavy handed anyway. Maybe a radar-guided laser device?
Drones may seem like a fun hobby-like gizmo now. But I think they will quickly become the focus of public ire depending on their size, sound, capabilities, and purpose.
There are absolutely devices for precisely this. I suspect you already knew that, because they tend to be lasers, like you mentioned.
Consumers won't have anything for a long time though because you would need FAA clearance to fire a laser skyward like that. Some people have had some fun with signal jamming, but that is also incredibly illegal. For the time being a good old fashion slingshot might just be the most effective solution.
Caleb: Nothing wrong with a surface-to-air slingshot, but you'd have to be quite a marksman. I had not heard previously about drone-killing lasers, but the FAA ban on firing lasers into the sky would indeed limit those.\
I like the idea of frequency-jammers and I suspect if they were low power, that might work. That would probably be an FCC-controlled item in the US, and as I recall, most FCC rules apply to transmitters starting at a particular power level (which is why pirate radio stations can broadcast). That might be enough to keep pesky drones out of your backyard. (Anyone know what frequencies these things use?)
Another idea: a high-power airguns that literally blow them away.
It is actually legal for anyone to fly these things as long as they don't go above a certain height! This means, it is legal for your neighbor to fly one over your back yard, but not above the clouds. Kind of crazy right?
This is what I was wondering. Oh no. We've seen the enemy and the enemy is our neighbors? Yikes.
It's easy to imagine that new homes well have to come with anti-drone security in the future to keep our nosy neighbors' drones out of our houses and backyards. Drone TV will be the latest cheap show to watch -- like reality tv. Thieves will use drones case our your house.
Spud Gun. Plans for this device abound and it's probably legal. Load a potato, aim and launch the spud with compressed air or ignited flammable propellant. I don't think there is a Regulatory Agency for such a device either, YMMV.
This robotic competition is just great. Its like challenging human intelligence and of course technology. Its fun and challenge at the same time. Wish we could see some of these videos of competing participants.
This reminds me of humanoid communication robot Kirobo, launched by Japan. Its a chatting robot to give company to the astronaut. The report say they want to see how non human gives company to the people and gives emotional support to people who are isolated in space for long periods.
I guess time will come when everyone can dream of having a robot :-)
One other interesting omission from the rules is a requirement that the flash drive be readable when it is recovered. This goes to Tom's earlier comment that a magnet is not necessarily the best retrieval strategy, but since there is no requirement that the drive be readable it is probably a good choice. We may be training the next generation of lawyers as well as engineers and spys...
@goafrit: SPIKING communication - the preferred way nature computes. I think in 100 years, digital will be gone and we will begin to compute like nature.
Fascinating. I'd like to know more about spiking communication. Digital does seem limited. Just from what I can see from Wikipedia, it makes me think those helmets that transmit knowledge directly to the brain in sci-fi films and tv shows might be possible 100 years from now.
Google neuromorphic systems to learn more. It is a new kind of electrical engineering where systems are designed by emulating how nature processes data - event driven asynchronous parallelism like in the central nervous system.