Open-Source, 3D Printed Military Grade Drones

By: | December 17th, 2014

What was once a pleasant hobby for nerdy kids and engineers has “shapeshifted” into a full out struggle over low altitude skies in the pursuit of both blood and treasure.

Below traffic patterns of civilian and military aircraft, a new strip of airspace, formerly relegated to various species of gentle bird and an occasional hawk, will now be used by companies like Amazon and UPS, private security firms, advertising agencies, NGOs, and persons of good and ill intent.

Military grade drones for police, surveillance and combat, will have precedence and everyone else will be required to follow new FAA regulations that aren’t yet in place. And there will be a fair number home grown “resistors” and international terrorists seeking to use this new technology to score political points and cause mayhem while innocent people are caught in the crossfire.

IndustryTap has written about the use of 3D printers to make guns and weapons of all types and now plans for building military grade UAVs or drones are available online to be printed anywhere at any time.

The following video from the University of Virginia, who is developing the Razor with Mitre Corporation, shows just how easy it is. A simple Android smartphone serves as the brains of the UAV which can be launched from a moving car or by hand; it can carry a payload as well. The video also makes clear this UAV can be built from off-the-shelf parts.

University of Virginia recently created a rapid prototyping center, much like those being built at many universities around the country, in this case, funded by Rolls-Royce, that includes seven 3-D printers and new curricula including “Mechatronics” and “Jet Engine Engineering” that allow students hands-on engineering learning.

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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