“…Crackdowns on protest movements in the Middle East over the past two years, like the one in Egypt this winter – belie authoritarian regimes’ fear of social networks and the free flow of information.
Large scale internet shutdowns somewhat effectively neutered the crowd-sourced angst of protestors -
- especially those depending on wireless communications and cell phones to mobilize and advocate.
Seeing this increasingly popular trend, Liam Young of big ideas think tank Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today came up with a futuristic way to put the data stream back in the hands of the dissidents.
“Part nomadic infrastructure and part robotic swarm,” Young developed hatbox-sized, remotely-piloted aircraft that can hover above a crowd like a dragonfly – and also serve as an ad hoc electronic network.
In something of an ironic twist Young’s “Electronic Countermeasures” use implements of Big Brother-esque citizen surveillance.
Says Young: “We have built a flock GPS-enabled quadcopter drones from components that were originally intended for aerial reconnaissance and police surveillance.”
In his introduction to the project he continues his description of the drones’ potential uses:
The public can upload files, photos and share data with one another as the drones float above the significant public spaces of the city.
The swarm becomes a pirate broadcast network – a mobile infrastructure that passers-by can interact with…”
(ed:..how cool is that..!..)
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