We can’t get enough drone talk, right?
The debate rages on about how we should use them, who should use them, and where we should be allowed to use them. Right now, there is not an iota of regulation for how these things could be deployed in the private sector.
That’s why it’s such a wild area of technology right now. We have paparazzi sending drones into celebrity estates to invade their privacy, and we have companies like Amazon talking about employing them to deliver packages faster than trucks can.
Then there’s the debate about just how much executive power should be used to employ drones, and just how far we should let them go. Do we let them kill? The power is certainly there, but when do we say, “Enough”?
Recently, a little company from the sweet sounding city streets of Austin, Texas, has been making a real racket in this space.
They don’t deal in weaponry, nor are they a drone company, but Chaotic Moon Studios, a software and design company, has developed a drone that will literally shock the hell out of you with its on-board 80,000 volt stun gun.
Since military drones are a cornerstone for much debate these days, and since the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival is an international event, Chaotic Moon thought it would be the perfect time to introduce their little project to the world.
They want people on both ends of the spectrum to see first hand what their drone is capable of. This way, people can be well informed, and have a real, educated discussion about how any so-called drone can be used in society.
Tasers are legal to carry in 45 of the 50 U.S. states. Who wouldn’t love to have their own little personal taser drone patrolling their property in case things get a little hairy? Sure, it’s kind of geeky and far-fetched, but it’s also kind of cool, and it’s definitely safer for the user.
Chaotic Moon Studio
At SXSW, Chaotic Moon launched its little beaut, the ironically-named CUPID (chaotic unmanned personal intercept drone).
It’s a hexacopter built from parts and components readily available on the internet. It has six rotors that allow it to fly through the air, and attached is a stun gun or taser is able to deliver 80,000 volts of electricity through its barbed-wire dart.
One look at the Chaotic Moon website, and you see that they’re already partnered up with some of the most recognizable names out there today: Pizza Hut, Anheuser Busch (NYSE: BUD), Marvel, CBS (NYSE: CBS), Toyota (NYSE: TM), and on and on… They’re not exactly a fringe element.
The company only started 2010, and now, with 130 members strong, they’re ready to make their mark on society.
At its roots, Chaotic Moon is a software company, but even they’ll tell you, “You’ll be surprised at what we’ll do for money.” They’ve got their hands in product strategy, design, game development, architecture – basically, anything that can be made into a digital business – they’re there.
The stunt at SXSW is just one piece of the puzzle for these guys. In the process, it’s giving the brand and the drone some good exposure.
Chaotic Moon intern Jackson Sheehan was the target for their little demonstration. The guy, who appears to be in great physical condition, drops to his knees like a little baby. When it’s over, his vital signs are completely normal.
When Sheehan was asked about his experience, he says he felt “pretty good” about being zapped by his employer, according to abc News. “If you’ve ever had a muscle cramp, like your calf cramped up – it’s like that except it’s your whole body and there’s a vibrating sensation. It pulses. I wouldn’t describe it as painful – you’re immobile.”
Later, Sheehan said he didn’t have any physical wounds except for where the darts stuck him, which he described as being similar to giving blood.
The purpose here was to demonstrate that drones can be highly effective at defense, but also remind people that the U.S. still has yet to regulate the private use of drones.
A hexacopter similar to that of Chaotic Moon’s can easily be assembled by anyone at home for a reasonable cost. We still have zero regulation to prevent God knows who from doing so and terrorizing the streets. Remember the knockout game? Derelicts of that same order could conceivably cause totally anonymous havoc by flying drones in and keeping their location secure.
Which takes me to Taser International (NASDAQ: TASR). They just announced a whole slew of different police precincts that have placed orders for their “smart weapon” in the first quarter of 2014. It’s a double-barreled, laser-scoped taser with some feature upgrades, but it sure as hell is no flying robot drone that can tase someone.
It’s imperative that established companies like this get on the level with what Chaotic Moon was able to do with relative ease.
I bet one of your neighbors is doing research on how to put one of these things together as we speak. It’s scary, but we need to be proactive instead of reactive.
We can and should use drones, but we need to do it responsibly.