From drones that fire webs to ones able to land vertically on walls, there is no shortage of crazy concept drones out there. Both of these pale into harmless insignificance, however, compared to the latest drone created by Turkish electronics firm Asisguard. What makes the Songar drone so headline-generating? The fact that, unlike regular four-bladed quadcopters, it uses eight blades to enable it to fly. Oh, and the fact that it comes with a mounted machine gun and 200 rounds of ammunition for riddling targets with bullets from the sky. That bit as well.
Anyone who has ever flown a drone will know that piloting one accurately can be a bit of a challenge. That’s one of the things that makes great drone racers or photographers so talented. It’s no surprise, then, that machine-gunning targets from a flying unmanned (but not unarmed) aerial vehicle is a little bit tough. To make up for that, and compensate for recoil, Songar uses cameras and a laser rangefinder to help calculate metrics such as distance, angle, wind speed, and more. It also uses a pair of robot arms to move the machine gun as it fires to lessen the impact of the recoil.
According to a New Scientist article, Songar has sufficient accuracy to be able to hit a 15-centimeter area from 200 meters away. If you’re someone who prefers to measure things in a combination of fruit sizes and sports fields, it’s the equivalent of shooting a mango from close to two football fields away. That distance could soon double due to software improvements. The drone also has night sensors to allow it to see in darkness. It can additionally be deployed in a group of three, which can be made to converge on a target for simultaneous firing. To select a target, all a Songar pilot would need to do is to select them with crosshairs using a screen on a remote control.
Asisguard is planning to deliver its drones for military use before the end of the year. While not the first deadly drone (or even gun-equipped drone) we’ve covered, this certainly looks like a fearsome new entry into a growing market place. For better or worse.
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