Police Drones that Fire Pepper Spray, Paintballs and Blinding Lazers at Crowds

drones with pepper spray 300x167 - Police Drones that Fire Pepper Spray, Paintballs and Blinding Lazers at Crowds

Police Drones that Fire Pepper Spray, Paintballs and Blinding Lazers at Crowds

I just came across a story about how Lucknow police in India are to use drones for more reasons that keeping an eye on the sky and the ground via a live feed but also use them for crowd dispersal by showering the area with pepper spray. The news article made me chuckle at first because Lucknow, the State Capital of Uttar Pradesh, India is not known to be in the news much for large riotous crowds although it is a large city that does have its own crime problems like any. And also because it simply said that the police are using drones with pepper spray. Only the other day I was reading something on the BBC website about riot control drones that have dart guns, paintball guns, blinding lazers and even high voltage tazers attached to them. One crowd control drone, the Skunk Octacopter, created by Desert Wolf a South African company, is equipped with several lethal and harmful weapons and devices. Some of them include blinding lasers and fast flashing strobe lights that can temporarily or even permanently blind some people not to mention possibly induce an epileptic seizure or fit. The drone can also fire plastic bullets or paintballs and spray pepper spray.

On some further research though it’s not the first time that the Lucklow police force have been in the news for using drones for crowd dispersal. Just last month I see The Times of India had released an article about how they’re using the drones for surveillance like most police forces of large cities and even very remote districts are. The technology is improving and coming down in price and the uses are growing more and more apparent in areas that can speed up police work while saving money in the long run also. It’s much cheaper and much quicker to send a drone somewhere within reaching distance to provide air-ground surveillance and support.

They have been already using their drone to take and record aerial photographs and videos and say by using pepper spray it will be less harsh than using a Lathi charge which is like a long thick pole they whack everyone with and think that the gas will be more effective. The drones they use can lift up to 2kg and reach an altitude of 500 meters. They’re used all around the city for finding law breakers and traffic violators. It’s not known if they’ll use the same drones adapted but there will be 4 new ones but this is basically the first force using them daily to help with policing.

But do a bit more research on the matter of drones that fire pepper spray or paint balls at crowds and you’ll also find its not the first time drones have been in the news for being attached with paint ball firing or pepper spraying abilities by the police and armed forces. This is still a brand new technology really in its infancy and we’re seeing it getting its first legs now so to speak. But already we can see how machines will be used in more and more ways that replace the need for humans altogether. For now, we have the upper hand it seems. And there really is a lot of opportunity and possibilities abound for drone use. From drone ambulances to drone doctors that carry ECG’s, blood, insulin/medicines etc to simple mail letter delivery drones replacing the postman’s job and missing fingers forever. But the area we’ll see the fastest growth in is probably the emergency services before public use catches up.

Skunk Octacopter Riot Control Drone Armed With Paintballs And Pepper Spray, Lasers and Tasers

Desert Wolf Drone Concept Model 300x187 - Police Drones that Fire Pepper Spray, Paintballs and Blinding Lazers at CrowdsThe Skunk Octacopter drone can expel and spray pepper spray and has  4 high power barrels attached to it that can fire up to 20 dye balls or solid plastic bullets a second. It can carry 4000 paint balls and even fire blinding lazers into your eyes if you try to look at it as well as have a deafening loudspeaker. The South African company says they have already taken 25 orders from an international mining house who market it as a riot control copter that can deal with crowd control without putting the lives of workers at risk. But in the UK the drone has come under much scrutiny from some regulatory bodies like the chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, Noel Sharkey who says that Firing plastic balls or bullets at people will maim and kill them dead. And that using pepper spray against protesting crowds is a form of torture and should not be done. We have to agree with that too provided they were innocent peaceful crowds. If it’s a riotous crowd then its a different matter as that is where the drone will come into play. There is much discussion on the Bruce Schneier on Security blog about pepper spray drones regarding the BBC article, some of which asks some pretty serious questions and makes some serious points like just how hack-proof the drones are. Which should be something they should look at countering before it actually happens.

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1 Comment

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  1. April 07, 19:02 Hennie Kieser

    Desert Wolf South Africa has NOT sold any of our units
    to India as yet. Our systems is much larger than what is in these latest
    reports, lifting more than 20 KG and we only sell to customers who wants at
    least 50 units – serious and professional users. We will be at the LAAD
    military exhibition in Rio de Janeiro from 14 April to 17 April on the South
    African pavilion.

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