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Preview: Breakthrough – Game of Drones, May 23rd

On Tuesday, May 23rd the subsequent episode of Breakthrough, National Geographic’s in style documentary collection, will premiere at 10pm ET. The title of the subsequent present within the collection is ‘Game of Drones’. The program charts the rise of anti-drone know-how and follows a quantity of groups competing within the Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems Challenge.

For these of you that don’t know, the Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems Challenge is actually a conflict recreation organized by MITRE, a drone tech firm that works carefully with federal authorities. The problem is open to opponents all world wide who compete for main prize cash. The process at hand? MITRE is on the lookout for options to detect and safely interdict small UAS (weighing lower than 5 lbs.) that pose a possible security or safety menace in city areas.

Game of Drones is directed by Brendan and Emmett Malloy and narrated by JK Simmons. The present seems into why MITRE is working the Challenge within the first place and concentrates on a couple of of the members. It’s all very dramatic:

“With any technology such as this there are one thousand good ways to use it and that one bad way….”If it’s not managed very tightly there may be going to be a catastrophe”.

Dr. Vijay Kumar’s group on the University of Pennsylvania is creating a brand new breed of flying robotic.

That’s how Breakthrough’s newest episode opens, contrasting optimistic photographs of completely different drone use circumstances with phrases of impending doom and a tone that tells you issues are about to go south, quick.

But not all drone functions are or have been optimistic, as JK Simmons is fast to level out. In truth, simply two and a half minutes in he compares the German Luftwaffe’s antics in World War 2 to that parody video during which a movie crew from Finland connected a chainsaw to a drone and began massacring defenceless snowmen. Context isn’t utilized when judging points within the drone trade, so why begin right here?

But the menace in query is a real one. That’s why MITRE’s Game of Drones has acquired a lot consideration. Professional-grade drones are getting small, cheaper and extra highly effective. And though the overwhelming majority of folks use them for good, within the fallacious palms they could possibly be weaponized. They already are within the Middle East.

Things do get extra smart the longer the episode goes on. There’s some fascinating perception from 3DR founder Chris Anderson, who appropriately speaks concerning the daybreak of the buyer drone market.

And then all of it involves a head on the two-week-lengthy Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems Challenge. Wildly completely different drone-killing techniques try to fend off waves of drone assaults. The options embody:

  • OpenWorks Engineering from the UK – The workforce try to fireside nets out of a bazooka and seize the drones in midair with blended success.
  • Department 13 – The workforce manipulate the radio communication protocol and successfully hijack the hyperlink between drone and operator. Unfortunately, the approach is totally ineffective in opposition to DJI’s Lightbridge connectivity.
  • Drone Ranger – The workforce can successfully block guide management however can’t appear to deal with drones flying on auto pilot.

breakthrough game of drones

Jonathon Rotner, MITRE’s problem co-chief places it finest when he says that: “each individual system has its positives and its negatives – there’s still going to be gaps and drones you can’t defeat.”

There’s no silver bullet, however little doubt mixture of all of the members’ methods might present critical opposition to anybody trying to wreak havoc with a drone.

The Game of Drones episode of National Geographic’s Breakthrough collection is nicely price a watch. Catch it subsequent Tuesday at 10pm ET.

Malek Murison is a contract author and editor with a ardour for tech developments and innovation.
Email Malek
Twitter:@malekmurison

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