The biggest fear of those concerned about the rise of aerial drones is their ability to silently and remotely rain death from the sky, but one company is trying to go the other way, an aerial drone that can hunt you down and "detain" you with 80,000 volts of electricity. Meet the stun gun drone.
Debuting at South By Southwest this past weekend, the stun gun drone was developed by Chaotic Moon Studios, who invited Popular Science to view a "live demonstration" of the drone in action. Of course, by live demonstration they mean a fun game of let's stun the intern.
The drone operates under the name CUPID, short for Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone. If the name alone doesn't strike fear into your heart, here's a description of what exactly CUPID is capable of:
[The drone] can find a subject and it can send you live video to a phone and ask you whether it should authorize a subject or detain them. If you elect to detain a subject, the drone drops into fully autonomous mode, where it can detain a subject until police arrive, if need be stunning them with 80,000 volts of electricity to render them incapacitated.
"Fully autonomous mode." "Render them incapacitated." These are descriptions of a drone that does. not. mess. around.
Chaotic Moon Studios intends CUPID to be used mostly for law enforcement purposes, and since police already use stun guns and drones, perhaps it was only a matter of time before someone put the two together. With CUPID, police officers could identify, chase, and detain a suspect without even leaving the comfort of their squad car. It could perhaps even render the whole idea of the high-speed pursuit obsolete.
And with criminals using drones for their own nifty purposes, maybe it's only fitting that police have a new toy to play around with too. Forget cops and robbers. It might soon be drones vs. drones all over your neighborhood skies.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.