British Army develops AI shotgun drone with machine vision for indoor use

The British Army has reportedly developed AI-equipped killer drones armed with twin-linked shotguns designed for blasting enemies of the Queen hiding inside buildings.

As if that wasn’t terrifying enough, the Army is already looking at strapping a chain gun or rocket launcher to its i9 drone instead of the shotguns, according to The Times.

“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,” the newspaper reported this morning.

The weaponised craft is said to be loaded with “twin stabilised shotguns” as well as making use of “machine vision” to identify its targets. A human operator will have to press a button to actually fire the shotguns, though that is potentially the least of the civilised world’s worries from this thing.

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Assuming that the drone is genuinely capable of firing a shotgun while hovering or in flight, this would mean the “unnamed British company” behind it has overcome some rather large challenges of physics. Basic Newtonian theory tells us that flinging an ounce of lead forwards at great speed causes an equal and opposite reaction backwards. In ballistics this force is called “recoil”. It takes little imagination to realise that recoil in a confined space is likely to push a drone backwards into a wall, rendering it useless.

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The Ministry of Defence is but four years behind Russia in its armed drone endeavours. Back in 2016 a group of students designed an armed drone which first flew in 2019, though that appears to be an outdoors-only craft. The Belarusian Army also strapped an RPG to a drone in 2018, though footage doesn’t show it actually being fired

Source: British Army develops AI shotgun drone with machine vision for indoor use • The Register