The UK army has purchased about 30 “Bug drones” that are extremely compact. Although these drones are quite small in size, they can be snooping on suspicious objects almost 2 km away. The drone is so tiny, such that one can easily carry them on their palms. And the weight of the drone is equivalent to about 196g, which is the same as that of a large-sized smartphone. With this, the UK army has gone over altogether to another level in the area of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Globally, drones have become quite important these days. They have become an integral part of the armed forces, especially for the kind of surveillance qualities they possess. However, drones have drawn a lot of criticism from groups that are responsible for ensuring human rights. These people feel that drones have been misused in the name of spying. The human rights groups claim that these drones have been used against those foes who are far away from the country’s borders.
Both Europe and the UK intend to use these drones to locate any immigrants seeking refuge in and around the Mediterranean sea or within the Channel.
With these small-sized drones coming with an exhaustive range of usages, they are often used for both military and non-military operations. However, parallelly, some issues are cropping up surrounding these drones’ usage, on whether all the required guidelines are being followed. Moreover, there are many doubts about how military troops would be utilizing these drones.
Director of Drone Wars Chris Cole went on to say that small, compact drones of this sort may much time provide false alarms to the armed forces, ultimately leading to too many unwanted civilian deaths.
The latest tiny drones procured by the British army have been manufactured by BAE Systems, responsible for creating the weapons used by the UK army. Assisting BAE Systems was UAVtec, a firm situated in Gloucestershire, which has developed a few small scale drones for the military troops. The battery equipped within these drones can sustain for 40 minutes at a stretch. Captured videos can be live-streamed to their respective controllers.
According to the drone makers, it can sustain itself in the air even when winds are blowing at a speed of 50mph. The Ministry of Defence in the UK recently went on to test these drones, where it was observed that the drone could deal quite well even during rough weather conditions. During the previous year, the Ministry of Defence had explicitly mentioned that they would be investing about 66m pounds on robotic and warfare products, which were inclusive of this kind of “mini-drones” along with vehicles used for defense purposes that are remote controlled as well as autonomous vehicles for logistics operations.
The person heading the armed forces within the UK has revealed that the plan involves robots within the army, which would be in the majority by 2030. BAE Systems has also mentioned that the current focus is towards including as many sensors as possible within these drones.
James Gerard, the main technologist, working within the applied intelligence section of BAE Systems, went on to say, “In even the toughest weather, the Bug can deliver vital tactical intelligence on what’s around the corner or over the next hill, working autonomously to give troops a visual update.”