Did it just get colder in here? Are we on Hoth? Well, you may not be hiding on a frigid, snowbound world, but watch this video of DARPA’s autonomous V-bat drone and tell me it doesn’t remind you of the Imperial Probe Droid that the Empire sends out in search of the rebel base in The Empire Strikes Back. Also, try not to wet yourself as you envision a future enslaved by our evil robot overlords. It’s like DARPA is going out of their way to give us horrible nightmares. Thanks guys, I didn’t need to sleep tonight anyway.
This clip is a record of the final demonstration of the V-bat drone. It’s crazy to watch this thing float around, and search out and identify a specific target. Designed for “Precision Emplacement of Payloads,” this uses a combination of GPS and “an on-board stereo vision system” to pick out its objective.
V-bat also has a six-foot retractable arm and is capable of delivering a one-pound payload. Seriously, it’s like they were actively trying to manufacture an Imperial Probe Droid.
And it’s fully autonomous. No human input needed. That is terrifying, and we’re all doomed. Before long these guys are going to be hovering outside your windows, peeping on you and your loved ones, snatching up your kids, and generally creating a very Terminator-esque vision of the future. Does that sound paranoid?
Granted, this device could be used to locate people stranded in hostile, inhospitable environments and deliver potentially life-saving necessities. Think of V-bat as a robotic St. Bernard. So, of course my mind goes directly to a place where it’s dispensing various explosives and generally perpetrating nefarious deeds.