The kit, commercial, only costs about $30. A terrorist’s dream.
But its worse than that.
While Patriot missiles “can take out UAVs, at $3 million apiece such protection carries a steep price tag, especially if we have to deal with $500 DIY drones”, says a Slashdot post.
“The CropCam offers images on demand and is an inexpensive alternative to satellite or flying an airplane over a field”, says the promo site, going on >>>
The CropCam is $7,000 USD, highly efficient and user friendly for the commercial market. It is a radio control (RC) glider plane equipped with a Pentax digital camera, controlled by an autopilot, along with pre-programmed ground control software. Available in electric, the CropCam will also work with a RC transmitter for manual control of the plane.
Hmmmm. $7,000, you say?
How about $524.99?
Slashdot links to a Wired story on a DIY dad who made his very own drone for fun, and who’s now gone commercial.
Nor is this a startling knew revelation. The story dates back to January, 2009, and the dad was/is none other than Wired’s Chris Anderson who on his DIY Drone site now states >>>
An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, colloquially known as a “drone”) is basically an aerial robot. As we define it, it is capable of both remotely controlled flight (like a regular RC aircraft) and fully-autonomous flight, controlled by sensors, GPS, and onboard computers performing the functions of an autopilot. Our UAVs include airplanes, helicopters, quadcopters and blimps. Most of them are under five pounds, and some of them (especially the blimps) can be used indoors.
We are focused on non-commercial (“recreational”) projects by amateurs, although pros are always welcome too. Reasons to make your own UAV range from a fun technical challenge, student contests, aerial photography and mapping (what we call “GeoCrawling”), and scientific sensing. We are primarily interested in civilian, not military, UAV uses here.
Lotsa DIY drone fun, hey?
But could ‘pros’ include terrorist who’d like to fly their unmanned DIY drones into, or onto, something — something like a government building somewhere, perhaps?
Says Newsweek >>>
You wouldn’t know it to hear U.S. officials talk. Jim Tuttle, the Department of Homeland Security official responsible for safeguarding America against nonnuclear weapons, downplays the idea that drones could be used against us.
“What terrorist is going to have a Predator?” he scoffed at a conference last winter. More recently, The Wall Street Journal reported, the U.S. ignored a dangerous flaw in its UAV technology that allowed Iraqi insurgents to tap into the planes’ video feeds using $30 software purchased over the Internet.
Such arrogance is setting us up for a fall. Just as we once failed to imagine terrorists using our own commercial aircraft against us, we are now underestimating the threat posed by this new wave of technology. We must prepare for a world in which foreign robotics rivals our own, and terrorists can deliver deadly explosives not just by suicide bomber but also by unmanned machine.
The “ease and affordability of such technology, much of which is already available for purchase commercially, means that drones will inevitably pass into the wrong hands, allowing small groups and even individuals to wield power once limited to the world’s great militaries” it adds.
And for sourcing, terrorists need look no further than online advertising Goliath Google who’s Adse nse nonsense provides a handy starting point.
… and identi.ca
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
p2pnet – Iraq insurgents hack US Predator drones, December 17, 2009
Slashdot – Defending Against Drones, February 27, 2010
Wired – From GeekDad project to real business, January 30, 2009
Newsweek – Defending Against Drones, March 8, 2009
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