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Watch the Pentagon’s new hive-mind-controlled drone swarm in action

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Watch the Pentagon’s new hive-mind-controlled drone swarm in action

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff January 10  from the Washington Post

Defense Dept. demos one of the world's largest drone swarms

Play Video3:26
The Department of Defense and Naval Air Systems Command successfully demonstrated a micro-drone swarm at China Lake, California. The test consisted of 103 Perdix drones which demonstrated collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing. (Department of Defense)

In what will probably be considered a step forward for autonomous military technology, the Pentagon said in a statement Monday that it had successfully demonstrated “one of the world’s largest micro-drone swarms” over China Lake, Calif., in October.

The exercise, put on by Naval Air Systems Command and the Pentagon’s five-year-old Strategic Capabilities Office, involved three F/A-18 multi-role fighters dropping 103 of the tiny remote-controlled aircraft — known as Perdix micro-drones — from specially designed canisters affixed under the aircrafts’ fuselages. The test was first covered by CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday.

[Watch Perdix, the secretive Pentagon program dropping tiny drones from jets]

Named after a character in Greek mythology, the Perdix is a cheap, lightweight, 3-D-printed drone that is capable of low‐altitude reconnaissance and “other missions,” according to a Pentagon fact sheet. The drone was originally designed by engineering students at MIT.


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