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The Military Transportation

Pentagon Seeks Laser-Powered Bat Drones ( 44

Zorro quotes DefenseOne: A new contest seeks flight systems inspired by Mother Nature and powered by directed-energy beams. Tired: multi-rotor copters and fixed-wing drones. Wired: flying robots that move like living animals, are crafted of next-generation materials, and draw their power not from batteries but energy beamed from nearby aircraft...

"The biological study of agile organisms such as bats and flying insects has yielded new insights into complex flight kinematics of systems with a large number of degrees of freedom, and the use of multi-functional flight surface materials," the announcement reads. The Air Force believes that more and more naturalistic design -- coupled with more powerful and smaller sensors to form a better picture of the outside world -- should yield "significant improvements in maneuverability, survivability and stealth over traditional quadcopter or fixed wing designs."

The article includes a link to a CalTech video showing footage of an advanced robotic bat.
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Pentagon Seeks Laser-Powered Bat Drones

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've been using laser power on drones for ages. When someone with a white coat does it then they get praised. When I harness the power of the sun to fry ants I'm looked down upon. The world is a crazy place.

  • What could go wrong ? Shall we start with rain & smoke ?

    • Shall we start with rain & smoke ?

      Different tools for different circumstances and opportunities. There are all sorts of military tools that are more (or only) effective under certain conditions. They're also used regularly to great effect. Just because you can't use it all the time doesn't mean you wouldn't want the advantage of using it when conditions are good for it. That's the oldest story in military history.

    • Just for the record, I'm against arming wildlife. If you think mosquitoes are a problem now, just imagine when they get RPGs.

      However, I think it should be pointed out that bats navigate by sonar and thus probably will not be greatly bothered by smoke or rain. Country and Western music played at high volume may be needed to defend against them.

      • by nasch ( 598556 )

        However, I think it should be pointed out that bats navigate by sonar and thus probably will not be greatly bothered by smoke or rain.

        First, the story is about drones, not bats. Second, the suggestion is they could be powered by lasers, which would be disrupted or attenuated by rain, fog, dust, or smoke.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      How about a missile strike at the source of high energy microwaves which are harmful to all living things, even in peace time, fully justifiable. Track the damaging radiation back to it's source and kill them before they harm your citizens. Why bother with the artificial bat, if your intent is to microwave people, just microwave them, give them cancer, why do it by accident, you will still be attacked any how. The stupid it burns, just like the higher levels of output required to power, rather than just con

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I think we can do one better: bat drones powered by sharks with freakin laser beams attached to their heads.

  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Sunday January 07, 2018 @06:28PM (#55881917)

    Where do they get those wonderful toys?

  • Laser Powered Bat Drones.

    How can you get more nerdy than that?

    • How can you get more nerdy than that?

      Simple: Mount the laser on a shark.

      So the shark powers and controls the bat drone . . . but who or what is powering and controlling the shark . . . ?

  • ... meaning to "batshit crazy."

  • What the fuck? And why the fuck do so many submissions have improper use of "..."? For fuck sakes.
  • I, for one, would like to welcome our new laser powered bat drone overlords ..

    or don't we do that anymore?

  • Like this []? (raw image [])

Feel disillusioned? I've got some great new illusions, right here!