Swarm's Up at Boeing's Surf City Drone Maker

Boeing Huntington Beach and Johns Hopkins University are hailing technology they have developed that will allow operators with very little training to sic swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones, as they are more commonly called) on the unsuspecting.

With a laptop and a military radio, these drones can reportedly be unleashed. Neat. But am I the only one scared shirtless by the possibility of this getting into the wrong hands? Like Anaheim PD?

Ah, well, must be the pussy in me.

A Boeing/Insitu ScanEagle UAV flies high.
Boeing and Johns Hopkins' Applied Physics Laboratory conducted flight tests in Oregon for several days in June, using two ScanEagle UAVs manufactured by Boeing Phantom Works in Huntington Beach, reports the Ottawa Citizen.

"This swarm technology may one day enable warfighters in battle to request and receive time-critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information directly from airborne UAVs much sooner than they can from ground control stations today," Gabriel Santander, program director of Advanced Autonomous Networks for Boeing Phantom Works, reportedly says. "Swarm network technology has the potential to offer more missions at less risk and lower operating costs."

That sounds as if the drone swarms will be used more for reconn than warfare, although when has a swarm ever been needed to collect information? And wouldn't hiring an Orange County Register flash news mob be cheaper still?

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
JGlanton topcommenter

A swarm of UAV's is for attack and disruption. You send a thousand drones each the size of a bee through the cracks of an enemy cave comples and each one starts a tiny incendiary fire until the whole gang of taliban are jumping around with their robes on fire.  The last drone in will carry a camera to record the hilarity and post it on youtube. Then you walk right in, put zip ties on 'em, collect intelligence, and free the bacha bereesh boys. Or you just hit 'em with a bunker buster but where's the fun in that?


Anaheim and Santa Ana PD could use swarms of stinging drones to disperse gang fights. And of course, unruly citizens and reporters. It's very hard to take cell phone video while bees are trying to sting you.

20ftjesus topcommenter

As long as the video is available via public information request, then I don't see any issues. 

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault