In one of the most significant tests of autonomous systems under development by the Department of Defense, the Strategic Capabilities Office, partnering with Naval Air Systems Command, successfully demonstrated one of the world’s largest micro-drone swarms at China Lake, California. The test, conducted in October 2016 and documented on Sunday’s CBS News program “60 Minutes”, consisted of 103 Perdix drones launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornets. The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing.

“I congratulate the Strategic Capabilities Office for this successful demonstration,” said Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who created SCO in 2012. “This is the kind of cutting-edge innovation that will keep us a step ahead of our adversaries. This demonstration will advance our development of autonomous systems.”

“Due to the complex nature of combat, Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said SCO Director William Roper. “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 demonstration is one of the first examples of the Pentagon using teams of small, inexpensive, autonomous systems to perform missions once achieved only by large, expensive ones. Roper stressed the department’s conception of the future battle network is one where humans will always be in the loop. Machines and the autonomous systems being developed by the DoD, such as the micro-drones, will empower humans to make better decisions faster.
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35 COMMENTS

  1. Could anybody tell me what the pilots are saying during the mission? "*** area click on" "*** 2 packs' on"? "Packs release" something like this? Not very sure

  2. That's horrifying! I'm sure they will equip them with face recognition and small guns or explosives. A cheap, effective and unfair way to kill thousands. Terrible.

  3. holy shit… the most terrifying thing about this is probably the kubrick soundtrack that starts playing when they arive… jesus christ

  4. Fantastic technological development! This should really shut up anyone who disagree with your foreign policies. Parents of the world; Time to start teaching all our children to be more American: "Think a different thought and the drone swarm comes, honey." – Watch the documentary called Drone for insight into the lives of the people living under the drones. They mention the sound specifically.

  5. lies lies lies, they are not a super power and they always use fake cgi imaging to scare us all. We have woken up and the game is over now

  6. Uh anyone ever watch the terminator? I don't think creating ai is very smart. Is google going to be the next sky net?

  7. THAT IS SO CRAZY! Surveillance drones applications are endless lock on and direct smart missiles or some kind of ordinance to enemy lines accuracy at it's finest!

  8. Пет минута се не помера брдо. Авиони као да стоје у месту. Велика превара, велика лаж. Авиони који лете 1000 километарана сат не померају се у односу на брдо које је у њиховој позадини..

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