Feeds

US drones to pack crowd controlling strobe beam

Flying robots impose peace and tranquility

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The US military has taken another step forward with its research into "non-lethal crowd control systems" after reaching back into the disco era for inspiration.

The US Army is looking to deploy a powerful strobe searchlight mounted in a pilotless drone aircraft. The strobe is intended to cause "immobilisation to all those within the beam".

Earlier this year the US Marines tested a vehicle-mounted directed microwave cooker which is intended to lightly grill the outer skin layer of troublemakers, causing an "intense burning sensation" which is nonetheless harmless – or anyway, less harmful than other things which the US Marines might do.

So-called "photic stimulation" with strobe lights, which the US Army is playing with, can cause epileptic fits in some people, which could be the effect that the US forces would like to achieve.

However, the technique has also been used to treat pre-menstrual tension and to mitigate migraines, suggesting that the new aerial riot robots could produce some startling, even pleasurable side-effects – perhaps merely pacifying the crowd rather than leaving it jittering in the dirt.

It is also possible to speculate that angry anti-US mobs who have had the foresight to equip themselves with some form of reflective eyewear might be able to avoid some or all of the effects.

The contract to develop the technology has been awarded to Peak Systems, and the program includes medical research as required into how to achieve the required effects. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.