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I was a bit disappointed not to find any thoughts about the proliferation of smaller, affordable drones and their potential uses in assassinating people (by criminals) in the article. It's not hard to imagine this happening sooner or later and it's scary to think about even smaller (insect-size) and more autonomous (no RC operator nearby) gadgets and their potential effectiveness.

How many years till a robotic fly can release a drop of poison in your mouth while you're sleeping? 30-40?

I was also disappointed the article was not about personal drones being modified to kill. It's going to happen, sooner rather than later.

Having seen a video[1] of a drone armed with a paintball pistol (and its precision), I would say that it will be much sooner than expected. Despite the fact that I'll probably be put on a watch-list for saying this, it would be the perfect crime. There would be no weapon left at the scene (provided the drone returns to its base), as well as no DNA samples. Anyone who could rig and pilot such a drone would probably be smart enough to leave minimal evidence related to motives, purchases, etc.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jplh7uatr-E&t=138

They already are deadly. Those spinning blades can do a lot of damage to a person. Just check drone forums.

All instances that I could find were accidents. So far.

I estimated 10 years until poison killer drones are wheeling beneath my ceiling light. - I wrote it 2 years ago on my website http://hashsign.co.uk/contact-stephen-winter.html#killer-dro... . (Already in 2009 I looked ahead fruit fly drones dropping plutonium in nasal cavities. http://hashsign.co.uk/notmute/20091129-hans-henny-jahnn.html... ) But yes, 30-40 years is more likely.

this is the question to be asking - it's only a matter of time. I think the only way to fight it is if the good guys are smarter and create the tech to protect us from these potential murders just like our immune system protects us from intruders

This is not the question to be asking. Not at all The robotic fly question describes a future danger of unknown magnitude. We, western societies, must ask the same question the article hints at: How can we be murdering innocents in the name of democracy? It's happening now, not in some future, it is actionable by us and it affects innocent lives both directly and indirectly.

I wasn't referring to the fly per se - but at the thought of privately owned drones committing crimes in the united states.

You are right that military use is a real and existing problem and thus clearly deserves more actual resources + action

I think the idea of this happening domestically in the US is just terrifying. I know that's a selfish thing because we are essentially doing it to other nations but it seems like more of an inevitability than something to put off before it becomes a problem.

This is slightly unsettling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUSMpCckEbY

It's also an advertisement for a Call of Duty game.

I know, but it is actually viable with current technology.

Well, sure, but with major caveats. That quadrotor would never work, there's no way it could carry a machine gun and much ammunition with a battery powered motor. Not to mention the problems of recoil in a (relatively) frictionless environment, telemetry, etc. It would look a lot more like the MQ-8 firescout, which is a hell of a lot bigger/louder/expensive than that. A small drone like that carrying lethal weaponry and being effective is still a ways off.

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