Pocket Airwolf June 19 2013

Finding the Panopticopter raises so many questions. Is the DIY drone industry growing? Is the DoD (make that Department of War) using Kickstriker to rapid prototype new projects? Why are people in academia using their knowledge to further war rather than freedom?

There's 328 contributors to a campaign that ends tomorrow. If you feel the need for your own drone copter you can get one fully assembled for $1000.

Further down the road will drone manufacturing enter the same space as 3D printed guns? Will they be a way to hold a mirror up to the camera? A way to watch the watchers?

From the campaign notes:

While drones have provided the U.S. military with the ability to perform airstrikes in highly sensitive areas, modern weaponized drones are anything but perfect. In particular, U.S. military drones have been criticized for their lack of precision, leading in some cases to unnecessary civilian deaths.

This is where we come in: we think we can build a better drone for a fraction of the price.

We're DIY Drone Labs, a group of three MIT engineering students who have been experimenting with drones built using open-source components like the Arduino microcontroller and BeagleBoard single-board computer. We think for just a few thousand dollars, we can build a prototype drone that has more accurate image-capture and image-processing abilities than the current generation of drones being used by the U.S. military. What's more, we're working with explosives experts to design an alternative to the Hellfire missiles being used by U.S. military drones.

...if we meet our funding goal, we will release all of our schematics and source code for the Panopticopter under a Creative Commons license, making it the world's first open-source drone!

Well at least they're thinking of open sourcing it...