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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Autonomous Collaborating Micro-Drone Swarms

The autonomy of such drones and drone swarms indicates an unprecedented depth of decision making driven by AI.  Implications are very broad.

Pentagon successfully tests micro-drone swarm  In mPhys: 
The Pentagon may soon be unleashing a 21st-century version of locusts on its adversaries after officials on Monday said it had successfully tested a swarm of 103 micro-drones. The important step in the development of new autonomous weapon systems was made possible by improvements in artificial intelligence, holding open the possibility that groups of small robots could act together under human direction.

Military strategists have high hopes for such drone swarms that would be cheap to produce and able to overwhelm opponents' defenses with their great numbers.

The test of the world's largest micro-drone swarm in California in October included 103 Perdix micro-drones measuring around six inches (16 centimeters) launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, the Pentagon said in a statement.

"The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing," it said. ...." 

And in Ars Technica.

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