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?

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