If there’s one thing more terrifying than conventional military drones, it’s a swarm of tiny military drones which share a distributed brain.
The US Department of Defense has published footage (above) that shows three fighter jets releasing 103 Perdix drones during a test over California in October.
The units, which have a wingspan of just 30cm, are believed to be designed to dodge air defence systems in order to gather intelligence.
William Roper, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office, told the BBC: “Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”
The Americans aren’t the only government developing the technology. Last year the Chinese showed off their own swarm of larger, fixed-wing drones.
But perhaps the most terrifying prospect yet is BAE System’s suggestion that military drones could be one day be “grown” in a lab.
Lee Cronin, a researcher at the University of Glasgow who’s working on the tech, said at the time of the announcement: “Creating small aircraft would be very challenging but I’m confident that creative thinking and convergent digital technologies will eventually lead to the digital programming of complex chemical and material systems.”