Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Toys for Terrorists 

Do you think Osama would like to find one of these under the old Ramadan tree?

If Billy Robinson has his way, unmanned spy planes like the ones buzzing above Baghdad may soon be darting around the New York skyline.
Oh, I like the sound of this already.

The goal is to build an airplane that would cost less than $25,000 and that anyone who can use a video game joystick could fly.

"We are trying to build a product that has global appeal to both governments and commercial users," Robinson says. "We see it as a niche looking to be filled."
$25,000? They've got to be kidding! Who do they think could possibly come up with that kind of money for a silly flying toy, other than, oh, I don't know, somebody with petro-bucks? And what would they want with a crazy little gadget intended for law enforcement and traffic monitoring?

A Maryland police force charged with monitoring a community event used the company's CyberBug product in April to spot unruly behavior and traffic problems. The plane, which is much cheaper and smaller than the spy aircraft the U.S. military operates over Iraq and Afghanistan, can carry a 4-pound camera and has the battery power to stay aloft for more than 12 hours.
What a waste of technology. I can scarcely think of what anybody could conceivably think of doing with this thing.

The CyberBug's control station packs into a small portable case. The drone can fly on autopilot or be controlled by a joystick with a GPS overlay or Internet link. Approved clients can also get an explosives trigger.
Heh. Useless.

Follow the link and hit the "Click to View" link for some good pictures of the product. But better click in a hurry, because I can't imagine this thing selling well enough to stay on the market for long.

You'll probably never get a chance to see one of these in real life. At least not if they use it right.

(hat tip again to my friend Larry)

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: