November 27, 2012
In September, according to a poll taken by mainstream media, a third of Americans are highly concerned about the increasing use of drones by local law enforcement and governmental agencies. As Congress pressures the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow for domestic routes for aerial drones by 2015, there is growing support from corporate entities that claim unmanned aircraft will enable them to secure profits and monitor otherwise difficult locations.
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) are the “leading global organization representing the views of the unmanned systems and robotics community.” They rely on coercion with the use of “government relations” management to speak on behalf of “the unmanned systems and robotics community as a trusted source of information to government officials, regulators, media and the public.” However, their true goal is to further the drone industry’s agenda of manufacturing, obtaining governmental contracts and gaining solicitation bids by promoting the use of aerial unmanned aircraft as the future of surveillance technology.
AeroViroment, a military supply corporation, marketed to the International Association of Police Chiefs at a convention in San Diego in October. Their pitch included displaying their line of military drones to local police officers.
These tiny drones weigh nearly 5 pounds and are just 3 feet long, yet contribute an estimated 85% of the current US military’s drone fleet. They are designed for stealth and cost-effectiveness.
The Department of Defense (DoD) are in the initial stages of weaponizing drones for use underwater. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the DoD have begun a href=” http://www.darpa.mil/”> developing technologies to combat “the growing number of adversaries able to build and operate quiet diesel electric submarines is a national security threat that affects U.S. and friendly naval operations around the world.”
Underwater drones known as Continuous Trail Autonomous Vessels will be able to patrol the seas and monitor the US coastlines using non-conventional sensory equipment to gather intelligence directed by the US government when surveilling targets.
Other mechanical technology that could improve police departments across the nation is a robotic frame which would enable disabled officers to return to the force. By using electrodes attached to the individual’s brain, the exo-skeleton can be controlled.
There are also the potentials of telepresent robots which are currently used in the military; however they could be reconfigured for law enforcement use.
The Seattle Police Department has met with rejection from citizens for the use of drones during protests. During future investigations, the police are promising to use aerial surveillance technology without regard to personal privacy in the name of securing public safety.
The 2012 Design Challenge competition in Los Angeles displayed futuristic drone cars that could be used by law enforcement replacing current highway patrol cars by 2025.
In fact, all the designers who attended the auto show competition (BMW, Honda, Subaru and General Motors) produced drones technology in a conceptual form where autonomously controlled vehicles would “empower highway patrol officers to meet new demands and effectively both ‘protect and serve’ the public while considering not just enforcement needs but emission concerns, population growth and transportation infrastructure.”
• The Honda created the CHP Drone Squad consisting in four-wheeled Auto-Drones and motorcycle Moto-Drones.
• BMW’s ePatrol combined human and drone to work in tandem.
• The Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept (SHARC) uses renewable energy and has aquatic capabilities.
• GM Volt Squad utilizes a propulsion system and carries a human officer to “observe, pursue or engage”.
• Mercedes-Benz’s Ener-G-Force is electronically motored, traffic controller that changes when exposed to human behavior.
Researchers at the University Of North Dakota (UND) conducted a study in September to justify the increasing use of drones in local police departments. In collaboration with the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department, and funded by drone manufactures, the UND approached the compromised study in favor of proving that it would be in the best interest of law enforcement to develop “operating concept for police departments”.Add This to Technorati Faves