By Doug Porter
The BBC released a story today trumpeting the initial sale of a remotely controlled octo-copter built specifically for crowd control situations. South African manufacturer Desert Wolf says its eight rotored “Skunk” can fire 80 doses of pepper spray per second from a storage tank holding 4000 pepper spray paintballs, plastic balls or other “non-lethal” ammunition.
Call them drones, RPVs, UASs, UVAs, SUAs or whatever. Remotely controlled robots are a big business in San Diego. A recent Voice of San Diego series covered the nascent industry’s impact on the local economy (more than a dozen companies),along with the uncertainty surrounding their use and development.
While I’m sure these machines can and should be be used for good purposes, the BBC story brings to light yet another moral dilemma facing society as technology continues to advance.