**Update June 11, 2013
“Most recently in March 2013 Oklahoma was host to a UAS Summit in Norman,
OK which provided a platform for the state to describe its plans and
objectives with respect to UAS. The Summit covered a diverse set of
subjects and topics including the use of UAS for agriculture, advanced
weather monitoring and research, along with law enforcement and military
applications of UAS technology” Link
March 26, 2012
The 2013 Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Systems Summit was held today in Norman.
I would have loved to attended this event but the attendance conditions were quite intimidating even if I had of found out about it in time. I did scout about for information on social media where often tech events are heavily covered, without much luck. Monitoring twitter proved disappointing. Strange since the Summit included a ‘social media’ meeting last night. Actually, I found just one person that was attending the event that was using twitter. Courtney E Howard, the Editor in Chief – Avionics Intelligence. You can read her tweets on the event here
People do say things [about
#UAVs] that are ridiculous & they say it loudly.–Professor of Political Science at University of Oklahoma (OU)
She is quoting one of the last panelists in the line up today who were covering Privacy and Social Implications of drones. This panel was chaired by Prof. Stephan Henderson
I wonder what ridiculous things people say loudly about the drones? One of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard about drones actually comes from one of today’s speakers at the Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Systems Summit. His name is Kirk Kloeppel and he was slated to speak on the Department of Homeland Security’s RAPS program that Oklahoma was chosen as the test site for back in June of 2012. RAPS stands for Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety.
First reports from the RAPS trials being run in our state struck me as pretty ridiculous since the press release from the Governors office studiously avoided mention of the rather obvious role that the police would play in the DHS’s RAPS program.
Gov. Fallin assures the public that ‘drones for use by the military or police investigations will not be tested at the Oklahoma site.’
Source: NewsOK, June 29, 2012, Oklahoma chosen as test site for drones
Here is an excerpt from a reporters observation of the very first trials of RAPS;
FORT SILL — The small, winged drone quietly soared overhead as SWAT team members closed in on a building at Fort Sill.
When a suspect sprinted from the structure, the drone banked through a cloudless afternoon sky in an effort to track the person.
A few miles away, two Lockheed Martin technicians sat in a converted bedroom of a ranch-style house using a laptop computer to control the drone’s movements. They followed the action on a video relay.
NewsOK, Dec. 31, 2012 Wary eyes shift to the skies as unmanned aircraft are tested in state
So the RAPS program itself might strike some as being at least mildly ridiculous but what Kirk Kloeppel is best know for, his ‘Pesky Critters’ would almost certainly strike most as utterly ridiculous.
Pesky Critters was written by Kloeppel in 2005. Here is a brief excerpt from the paper;
“The hunter-killer pursues specific individuals and eliminates them. These devices have the unique deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) signature for individual leadership in their memory and examine the environment for a match. Once the proper candidate is isolated, the fly inserts a probe into the victim, injecting a toxic substance or altering the victim’s own genetic material with a virulent composition, causing quick incapacitation. The victim notices the “sting” from the robot but considers it a pest and thinks nothing of the consequences.
A day or two would pass before the targeted leader is not a further factor in the warfighting. These miniscule vehicles offer a unique, stealthy cap ability for a government. From the exterior, the robots appear to be common houseflies. They mimic the performance of the housefly in nearly every aspect except for the internal composition. Their innocuous existence offers implementers military advantages. While the development of a hunter-killer weapon may breach legal boundaries, its potential is illustrative of the possible alternative applications, many of which, such as the intelligence and surveillance approaches, are perfectly legal.The above scenario may seem implausible—something dreamed within the mind of a science fiction writer—but the capabilities are closer to reality than one might imagine. The design, manufacture, and use of an unmanned aerial vehicle the size of a common housefly is feasible and worth exploring.”
Read 34 more pages of ridiculousness here
Or check out some more recent work by Colonel Kirk Kloeppel;
Air Force scientists are looking for robotic bombs that look — and act — like swarms of bugs and birds. In a recent presentation, Colonel Kirk Kloeppel, head of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s munitions directorate, announced the Lab’s interest in “bio-inspired munitions.”
These, “small, autonomous” machines would “provide close-in [surveillance] information, in addition to killing intended targets,” the Colonel noted. And they’d not only take out foes in urban canyons – the self-guided munitions would “operat[e] within buildings,” too.
Jan. 1, 2008 Wired, Air Force: Bug-Like Robo-Bombs for Indoor Ops
Or this Kloeppel presentation from 2009
Here is the most ridiculous thing of all about the drone explosion that has been actively courted and developed by Gov. Fallin with our tax dollars; not one thing has been done to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of the people she was elected to serve.
In fact, it was the direct intervention of Gov. Fallin and Stephen McKeever, her Secretary of Science and Technology, that killed the fairly narrowly tailored legislation that would have simply prohibited the police from doing targeted surveillance of individuals and equipping them with weapons.
This is what I call ridiculous!