I, for one, welcome our all-seeing aerial robot masters

Wired has a UAV bestiary. This one is pretty Buck Rogers looking:

"GoldenEye's ducted fan design allows it to change direction and speed by adjusting various sets of control vanes. Because the rotor blades aren't exposed, this UAV can fly near people, trees, and buildings - perfect for street-level urban warfare ops like detecting chemical weapons."

Looks like it is real, and has actually flown:

"GoldenEye features unconventional performance that enables it to take-off and land vertically, like a helicopter, then level off into horizontal flight by virtue of rotating wings. [...] GoldenEye-100 stands 5.5 feet tall with a gross takeoff weight of 150 pounds. The aircraft can cruise up to four hours with a range of more than 500 miles at a maximum speed of 160 knots.

"In addition to the 150-pound vehicle, Aurora is developing a smaller, 16-pound derivative called GoldenEye-50. Aurora plans to build multiple GoldenEye-50s for homeland security applications and expansion of the rapid flight envelope of the ducted-fan vehicle class. This includes transition from hover to horizontal flight and high-speed dash performance."

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2 Responses:

  1. chupchup says:

    I wonder if the Ian Fleming empire gave this their stamp of approval, or if we'll be expecting a lawsuit soon...

  2. unabomber says:

    The coolest technology I've heard of wrt UAVs is that they're apparently in-air refueling their batteries with a ground-based microwave or laser and a rectenna that is up to 90% efficient. Basically it takes all of those stories you read in Asimov books from the 1960s about giant power sources beaming space-generated super-nuclear energy to robots and turns them into practical technology. If you google on "UAV microwave power", you will get a metric shitload of material on it.