A few years back, I bought my son a relatively cheap flying drone toy. I thought it would be junk and more than likely, he would break it shortly after I gave it to him like some of the other toy flying toy helicopters that I bought him when he was a small child.. I was wrong in that assumption, and even now it is still a blast, but primitive in what it can be.
After my exposure to my son’s flying drone, I want a swarm of smart drones. Smart phones are small, powerful and light, but most importantly they are getting cheap like a calculator. This means that the same technology could be morphed into a flying drone, and with good software, these smart swarms could be incredibly powerful systems in enhancing our lives..
In the movie Megamind, the writer already predicted the rise of smart drone swarms. While real-world smart drones will not look exactly like the movie version, some of the intelligence and centralized AI control of each unit will be very similar. I’m still amazed by the scene when the smart swarm made a 3D sculptor of Megamind’s face while flying in the air.
Below is of a few of the smart drone swarm members on the right side of Megamind.
In the Simpson’s, the writers always has Mr Burns saying “release the hounds” on people… but what if a flying swarm of drones was your security system instead of dogs? You could be sleeping, and these smart drone could be released into action by a nefarious trigger that could set them off. Or potentially a few could be in the air at all times on a continually rotating schedule while the rest of the drones are resting and charging. Some of the drones could record the offensive activity and even follow the perpetrators effectively taking photos and providing an instant video and audio stream to an online site (perhaps even directly to a future the police monitoring system or security company) effectively tracking the potential criminals. A separate part of the smart swarm could attack the intruders. Oh not with bullets but with pepper spray or some other nonlethal deterrents. Such a system could almost guarantee safety through prevention or at least conviction of the captured criminals since the system would practically be escape-proof. Bad guys beware!!! I’m just scratching the surface with what smart drones can and should do!
A smart drone or swarm of smart drones could follow you at all times, shading you from the sun, rain and even wind (it would almost be like portable indoors if they can hold their change and provide climate control like a car) Obviously they could also serve as a portable nonlethal security system too. Having such a system would be deterrent enough so the smarter “bad guys” would not even try anything against that individual. I could also see the government using such systems at both local, state and federal levels. The concept of “Big Brother” in the book 1984 would pale drastically in comparison to the surveillance and algorithmic power of smart swarms that hook into a governmental AI backend.
When I think about it, with the predictive analysis of autonomous AI algorithms added to the system, government could have the power to track and effectively micro-monitor practically every aspect of our lives. Even George Orwell would be shocked at the surveillance depth such modern “Big Brother” systems could collect, especially when teamed with predictive analysis algorithms.
This article is long enough, but really I’m just scratching the surface and keeping the concept fairly simple. I think I will write more on this in the near term.
Thanks for reading my thoughts, 🙂