Reporters' Roundtable Ep. 127: Attack of the dronesHow the movement to develop of small, cheap, and autonomous robotic flying vehicles will change the way war is waged and what governments and businesses can do, and how hobbyists are leading the charge.
I really welcome to reporters' roundtable I am -- -- in San Francisco today on the show. It's drones. Under the Christmas -- in the deadly skies over Afghanistan. Soon perhaps replacing traffic helicopters unmanned aerial drones are showing up. Everywhere a combination of technological advancement and necessity has led to the creation of military grade unmanned flying vehicles. Almost affordable -- grade quad copter -- And a growing commercial hobbyists in the street in between to build new increasingly cheap and increasingly Smart robotic flying vehicles. Of course -- familiar with the stories of remote controlled drone airplanes perform reconnaissance and increasingly carry lethal weapons for armed forces. These drones are primarily remote control to many has a measure of smarts that enables them to fly parts of their missions with complete autonomy. How Smart -- flying robots get. Just ask your neighbor the geek he or she may be one of the tens of thousands of community members of DIY drones working on improving the state of the art of the autonomous aerial drones using open source hardware like -- -- you know micro controller and the quad -- architecture that's becoming ubiquitous. What are the privacy and legal implications of a world in which governments businesses and private citizens can buy or build. Smart and perhaps silent reconnaissance vehicles. Welcome to the future it's being built today. Okay so for this great topic which -- Really really excited to do today we have two great guests that I'd bet you have heard of first and -- both here in the studio with us first Chris Anderson who's the editor in chief of WIRED Magazine perhaps you've seen this issue. Here comes drones. He is also the founder of the -- drones the community site. Of people who are building these things and of 3-D robotics. In manufacturing arm of that community -- thanks for coming in the also joining us Daniel Suarez who is the author of this bulk. -- decision a thriller which I highly recommend. This is a book about. Chris is drones gone bad. Not specifically. Drones drones -- evil and is there really really fun read -- also the author of daemon and freedom to other great techno thrillers that though I highly recommend. -- that he was a systems analyst so he knows of which he speaks. Thank you for coming in thanks for having me. Well we've got that I -- -- a ton of things to talk about now I wanna start with this about a year ago on the right after we took out bin Laden we did a show with wired danger room writers Spencer Ackerman. On the role of the unmanned vehicle in in that particular campaign and the military overall. That was may of last visit was a last year it was -- What has changed in the world of the unmanned and autonomous vehicle since then and and use those words simply because I know you have a New York. Yeah. You know this is like technology and sort which is to say that it starts with big companies the military unit start that way -- and started that way computers in general. I'm and then any pay attention to that you think that's the only make it happen and and then slowly and quietly in the undergrowth hobbyists in the home brewers and the hackers start fiddling with it. And mister -- from you know from the grass roots and that's -- what's happening in the last year and to grassroots drones movement has now exceeded military. Round the world in terms -- numbers. The drones out there at 88 in terms of number of hours of physical joints or are there are diversity or in what way as it is exceeding the military so I'm a little bit definitions a manager on -- is mentioned before is. An aircraft capable. Sometimes flown remotely but says but it can fly by itself take off landing GPS which -- can list. -- It can be just anything as simple as that room rate of petrol -- Senior part on my children I'm and then somebody adds -- -- to say this is not a -- it's that little box. That has computers sensors GPS. Lots lots of software. And then suddenly gives the plane -- helicopter and a brain. -- that means that that all -- -- -- there are just one box away from becoming problems now these costs 200 dollars. I'm as opposed to military military ones which can cost tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in two as a result what you're seeing how there's a lot of basically what formerly were read of people toys in turn into drones at a very low cost which is why -- anymore. And altered its annual it. Is it this particular movement that gave rise to the central -- of your book of these autonomous swarming. Armed -- flying drones. It's the -- -- with its its you know as is mentioned in this wired article -- this whole industry that is in -- Celeron Anderson in this specific chips that empower this so -- As brought the -- price point down the point where many different entrants have come into the industry changes -- sort of came for an explosion of a drone species. And and now. Even very very small groups can use this in conflict that's what I thought was interest it's almost -- miniaturization of war on to the extent that that. Hobbyists or are taking this -- larger drones and turning them into toys that they can use or for civil use cameras and so forth. It's also occurring to people in conflict that they can. Take these larger -- -- shrink them down we were just talking about this missile it's only two feet long that they're designing to put on smaller drones. Any -- having a swarm of much smaller drones is more survivable it makes war more personal less collateral damage all of that stuff -- carefully target. The person you're looking for with a small drone. -- -- -- then diagram that's a slight overlap. Between the hobbies drone and the wardrobe and -- it's not going to be the same people using them but the technology is going to be similar anyway. You know what's interesting to me about this is that it was literally. Just -- Slightly more than a year ago that we were talking about drones and what we were discussing -- -- big flying primarily fixed wing machines. Than and that that we're getting we were seeing them getting bigger and bigger and bigger media phantom ray I believe is a several million probably a hundred million dollar delta wing aircraft that flies that 40000 incompletely -- And office live autonomously but. That's that's a scary aircraft and now we seem to have gone in the course that -- -- in space a fifteen months. Completely. The other direction. Well it is what happens what happens. It's an ecosystem you're gonna have different different species doing different things you're gonna have the global -- that are gonna set -- -- 60000 feet in state persistent I in the sky looking down. And then acting perhaps an information will be smaller or old constellation of smaller -- -- -- things mean. 85 percentage drones are I think less than 24 pounds and in the authors. It doesn't -- still that there dale represented 4% of the cost. 85% -- then you have the much bigger ones that do. Connection to satellite Fahrenheit deep -- -- from high that it thinks it's different in a different purpose. If you go out right now I'd choose the -- centers of and I'm and watch people surfing. Odds are that increase and you'll see something looks like this. Flying overhead. I would camera on board at the center on I am and -- drawn being used to film. Extreme sports and -- in -- probably autonomously. Might be that some months having actually have apps on these follow it all the person is as they're doing stunts to -- and positioning itself -- behind. I'm that's a yeah that's the kind of thing that's. -- and possible and and fun it's a complete non military -- application and it's not what's people file -- as -- -- increasingly will as these become much more common. You know. Our final -- -- thinking -- but just because it when I know but this which is my error an art room. This is. You you don't -- call with the -- because it's not fully autonomous however it is a very intelligent air written in the control with an iPhone in -- matter with with pointing. The direction you tilt your phone is a direction ago which is cool granted it's just that simple algorithm I -- -- think that's cool knowing how of these vehicles work. But this thing in a two mile an hour wind becomes almost a viable and you saying that that that device can handle -- on the beta -- absolutely I mean that's that's the difference between the -- mean we can we do -- -- well that's really designed for indoor use and this is this is a -- company come in six and eight and as well these have quick powerful Brussels -- And big gas big in polymer and batteries this can handle. I would say I -- fifteen knots misses about optimal -- -- I've seen it go and in twenty at fifteen it is not right in other words. This is designed for outdoor use as -- poster here they are drone which is really designed -- cores I think. And -- Okay so that we talked briefly about using these things -- kind -- -- bots. Some measurable autonomy you know maybe it's following a beacon power on on on the -- -- -- something I guess would be with. The thing just so brightly boat from -- lock on the sale. I -- you could you could do we typically what happens is you you carry little GPS device in that little box looks like -- live with as a GPS device and a little radio and they just transmits your position to that -- on the terms decisions. Now Daniel in your book you talk about. -- -- swarms of drones being used for assassination. And taking out ships with laser cutters. -- -- your hobby it's -- out there you -- when he 5000 strong communities are members of -- drones what are they doing with these other then just. Doing it because they canned because it's cool. Yeah this is very much like the home brew computer club and if you'd asked jobs and Wozniak what's a computer for that say. So you can program it. You know and that was sufficient answer for a lot of people for a long time and -- people thought of were processing and spreadsheets in videogames and ultimately. All that. I'm -- a little bit further along and beat because you can program at -- spectrum. But by and large the applications -- most people are doing it for school that's -- -- it's on its -- platform aerial robotics. Taking robotics from the two. -- to the three. World and all that. I'm increasingly is being used -- -- camera platform. Not just for hobbyists out but also. For mapping. Areas like Google Maps for agriculture to look at it and you know crop lands through different filters to have a water fertilizer is going. -- using a lot so right now if you watching a car commercial and there is a camera follow -- -- camera in the air they use always -- demand here. After typically increasingly that's an unmanned. Aircraft systems cheaper. I'm less dangerous. And you can get it -- here anytime anytime you want. A scientific sensing -- not a good I'm application you know that that -- zone that certain 400 feet below the clouds and -- -- satellites are great but if our way and above the clouds airplanes get load across their expenses in target here and notion of anytime anywhere access to sky. As well -- -- can offer -- anybody from farmers scientists. Agree. Anytime anywhere access the -- interestingly -- -- do we have. I assume we wouldn't know because -- -- a couple thousand it -- things are much audible. Are there -- drones flying over our cities right now doing Google Maps -- watching their traffic. I wouldn't think by official entities they'd be concerned about permitting and things like that I heard there are now and -- remote computer and unplanned attempts to right now for commercial purposes I think there is one flying -- response -- right now for him and I know what one -- -- team members -- -- right now and a percent Cisco yet you wouldn't know that they're flying below 400 -- so it's not like -- that's. Line of -- argument that the the way the FAA. National regulations work is that there's -- amateur category. We're basically anything goes as long as below 400 feet -- -- sites he can avoid -- commander if it comes. To control it the way. I'm away -- built -- various people. It if your commercial entity it's almost -- -- Long learning process that you can't you can't get through and so ironically my nine year old can flight drones but the steps to -- department. I have to think about whether that's good or not. Clear that I'm relieved. Or -- -- Daniel A you know as somebody who looks and the dark side of of what the is that the these platforms can do -- that make you feel good or bad. Well actually it that parts in different and and I have to say that that I look it like. I of necessity look at the dark -- I actually am very excited about so. Because they're gonna happen anyway. I think does Sunni FAA's general in this round 2015 we are talking about. And then I think you'll see lots thousands of permits approved for various uses of drones and I just hope that it. What's put in place -- some sort of system by which if you -- -- drone and you can. Go to a Google map that thing and find out what it is -- the department of water and power there inspecting -- something like that. So there's some visibility and transparency there but I I look at the dark side principally because. It techno thriller that's happy -- and ends on a happier note is not very exciting so I was look at the really dark stuff and plus would be unbelievable yes in these guys get. It's easier to believe that these things are being used for these -- is now I got an email from. From a mockery in my name is on so and I -- drone operator for -- and builder for new virile flight systems and just so you're aware -- drones for commercial use are illegal in most countries. Here in Canada we require permits for every flight and must provide EPO flight plans and info about every job most companies. That attempt to turn drones into a business especially in the US they -- national security such as your topic. Article out of business -- get shut down in the first year who for now probably that it. I just -- -- flight plans being mean these things are ad hoc aerial vehicles and -- flight on a commercial. And don't worry if you're gonna be inspecting perilously -- over -- hundred mile long stretch. And again the potential to interfere with unmanned aircraft -- to go haywire. It is gonna be -- transparent transponder on -- that will tell if it goes -- and tension build a. Database and no fly zones into the little GPS I think you you can undo the way it works is that. There -- apps that no fly zones and where we get emails and texts about this -- we know about that I'm a if -- commercial you -- what I have -- for what's called a certificate of authorization from the FA need to say where -- gonna be and you know what. It what what's in it -- and -- And basically the years it's on and the reason they do that is because. I'm the number one rule of the national airspace is sensitive -- the ability to see other aircraft and avoid. So even if the you know you can't count on air traffic control to keep you part unique -- -- have eyes and that occupies the cockpit he thinks don't have lies in the cockpit. -- and so because they can't avoid the manned aircraft and keep manned aircraft -- -- -- so with amateurs we do that by staying 400 feet it -- aircraft's basic stop at a thousand feet. It's -- 600 foot buffer in this 400 feet which is where -- and balloons and toys -- Do we do with his vertical segmentation the airspace to commercial wants to if you wanna go beyond that and with that -- -- notified via CA and had them clear yours it's. Some -- we'll have -- technology on board. Whether it's gonna be a transponders as you say that would require in all of manned aircraft have the same transponder business and political opposition to significant economic opposition to that. Or whether they're gonna have -- on board sensors. That can achieve what our eyes can achieve which is spotting any potential potential manned aircraft and it. So what's -- future look like I mean these. Platforms are so inexpensive. That the cost of failure if it doesn't involved in -- flowing into some other -- manned aircraft windshield or engine. Is very low and when things falls out of the sky it could. It could cause damage but not nearly as much damage as -- helicopter. Are we going to ten years now look up in the sky ANC you know. Delivery drones zipping back and forth like the pneumatic tubes of the thirties forties. You know delivery drones which is what everybody always -- -- -- go straight beats. Out and that -- one of the hardest. -- problems there it -- think about it. You know you have to navigate urban environment. Of total lines trees buildings -- street signs. Engines people. It all that cost you need to him you know leaner and G -- GPS and multi path bouncing off wallets it's a terrible environment -- it placed it on this land at saint. That's might happen in my lifetime may be a much more likely one would be in -- delivery man you know -- you have a case where the roads are very -- And the and the thing you're delivering -- -- light that's a perfect application. Port but the sun -- taco copter. Patent -- -- there's a video on annually out toward its. Yeah I mean -- we we did we ever for fun we we delivered a pizza. But I -- we did it manually and and I would say that. You're not gonna see delivery vehicles overhead intention -- do you think you'll see drones overhead in frequently. In the next ten years -- the bird the kind of things into a map. Aircraft to right now witches you want your traffic helicopters. You know updated view of the the land and houses in urban environments and right now that Google -- comes by once a year -- You know it. Wouldn't it be nice was up there all the time you know if you had a live view but wouldn't it be nice if there was that Google. Platform with cameras looking animal house all the time I I'll leave that question is exercise for the reader which you like -- and an -- -- -- Google Maps to -- real time or six console much depends I think your point. But I'm still much you're okay. You know I mean what is that that's societies questioned ends needlessly and -- only have to keep your backyard ID once a year. But if I tell you guys just -- a little side note the business I'm going into -- this publishing thing doesn't work out for meat -- is. Urban camouflage nets for backyards. I'm actually a step that I know digitize it but this big business -- -- it. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- They get closer together and -- -- -- and her senses and we -- satellites overhead the only answer resolution planes had cancer resolution. You know you could probably -- Sunday in your backyard and assume that no one's gonna be -- in recognized you. How much longer is that true as the cameras get closer and closer to earth you know that's. That's a fascinating topic in Germany for example within the Google street view camera goes by and takes a picture of your house I -- I mean I think that the culture says it's my house is facing a public street it -- -- it sure does look -- and it. Germany is like now I can happen mr. I can have that blurt. On so they're they're different cultural expectations. Where -- -- point -- I -- are we going to walk out of -- the war. And immediately X expect that. Any sense of privacy what we're doing or where we look like is completely blown later including better -- there -- there yet just went on an island I'm on my walk over here I want to its past. -- -- I have it. -- that's that's done. In between camera phones and you know public surveillance you know once or cider house it's it's it's -- purchase -- everything you location yeah but the backyard is -- sacred space and some students in the question is how is that you know reasonable expectation change. -- Now -- -- to talk about the technology a little bit we've probably all seen those videos of drones are very research universities. Doing amazing things up looking over virtual -- flying through -- Apple -- A cooperating with each other buildings some great one of a bunch of -- playing the James Bond theme -- -- -- or science instruments. How. Of course -- research being done by. Smart people in universities and eventually they're going to leave universe -- Product announcements that where are we right now what is the state of the art fully autonomous or remotely piloted. -- -- -- that. That's a great question -- it's really important distinction between those -- -- -- which -- which are all done in a motion capture. So those of what it's -- Viacom basically what practices came as its cameras routers like it's like motion capture you have. I'm little dots and possibly ping pong balls on -- -- still cameras looked around at. And they and they they're watching and ascertained position at the -- the room figures that with doctors. Doctor doesn't know anything in in the room the room controls the -- -- so it's basically. Eight B eight. It's it's -- room making decisions. May take it outside -- don't know anything. So none and there's a there's a half dozen of these like rooms around the world like 500 dollars. So that is -- that's -- -- you you can't do. And -- you go outside. You're dealing with GPS much lower resolutions maybe you know a few meters and -- a few centimeters. Looking at Windsor looking answer difficult radio in environments you know it's it's a much tougher problem. So. The state of the art right now in the outside world is that or for 200 dollars this is -- it -- -- the ones that our community -- electrons. Community created sold by three robotics company to discuss 200 dollars and -- GPS and all those other sensors -- side. And this will do full autonomy take off. Wait points you know you -- point and click on -- happens in just tell where to go in -- does it does its thing. Public plus or minus abouts you know about a meter rooms that is -- is -- -- -- And done the work you know almost all the time but things things can go wrong it's still in its technology. The guy -- -- swarming is the next where you get multiple ones communicating with each other. And these things all he said special radios on board in which are designed to communicate with the space station ground station telemetry -- can also communicate with each other so. -- the algorithms but the work here and and I mean and -- -- smaller and lighter and cheaper and all that. I'm the endorse stuff is out on is is still kind of -- research exercised good way to test algorithms and funny particularly useful applications. -- indoors yet but and so they -- Now Daniel. I don't want to give spoilers to your book but it but I believe that -- you -- you want -- but. Knowing full well of the limitations of current technology you -- develop I don't know how much -- invented or. Extracted from public materials. I'm a technology to four. Cooperative from four autonomous drones to. To reinforce each has -- you wanna talk a little bit Israel inching idealized pasted of course and social insects Aminopterin Weaver. And it is. It relates to the a concept called state -- Which she means modifying the environment basically to communicate between members agents in -- system. So that they can intuitively interact with that and navigate and read messages from each other so it's sort of like out. A swarm can up -- something that they discovered in importance today. More of the agents converge on that point. All of them up voting as they go and that's how it is sort of manifests itself as intelligent reaction. I would say I extrapolated. You know IE I took some poetic license but really it's sort of just an over the horizon thing it's not completely beyond the realm of possibility. -- but if you know what I wanted to do was I wanted to look a little further ahead to say if things keep going in this direction. And one were devoid of ethics one could do this. And and again designing a system that's not perfect -- has lots of casualties that makes lots of mistakes but the -- part of that bell curve gets it right. And and although the extremes -- either side might get it wrong whatever gold swarm -- can be achieved. And it depends on how important goal is so if that goal is attacking an important political target. And how much is it worth somebody to -- For a political reason to send a thousand dollars -- a 100000 dollar drones to get rid of some. That's not a very big investment especially if attribution is difficult that was one of the key things here but Thomas drones could -- view. Anonymous -- the idea that it would be very difficult to determine who's attacking. Particularly in in a world it has a profusion of drones everywhere. While many of them off the shelf but again I I'm not trying to be negative this is gonna happen we're gonna have drones and have -- civilian -- going to be great. But I was looking at what groups that are in conflict. How they might use cheap technology. Again we were talking of this earlier this -- sort of bringing the price point for an error forced down. To sort of the the boy scout troop levels -- -- -- -- -- doing this but let's saying are coming to get the badge to narco traffickers and I I think in this. But said removing I don't know what the cost is -- -- of cocaine but the point is let's say is 30000 dollars if you're sending a swarm of Jones over the border and with a half Qi -- -- and you lose half of them used to make a lot of money and you didn't endanger anybody in your team. And in other words things like that could be driving in illicit marketing drones and it would make financial sense. And then there's warring parties and all this -- -- look at this dark territory because. -- conflict human conflict in particular is always an early adopters. There was gonna take whatever technology comes on the line gives them some advantage and use it and I thought that was fascinating how you could use these. Again extrapolate a little in the technology try to use them cooperatively. And it's it's amazing when you look at it as a swarm if you of modern weapons it's still very difficult to knock down a -- Chris as an as the editor of wired this is a topic. The shrink of application of technology in the distribution of technology from say a hundred million dollar platform to. 1010101000. Dollar platforms. Departments aren't -- yet whatever yet but he is that. You've seen that happen not just in drones but in every other technologies that it is that what is happening here we moving away from the peak. Vulnerable aircraft carriers in the sky to a swarm a PT boats. Yeah -- the secret that. -- -- and the Smartphone revolution and and you may not think about this that inside your phone you have all the sensors necessary to fly to -- like -- got -- -- barometers magnet founders GPS and wireless cameras and processing and memory and all that kind of stuff and thanks to the economies of scale Apple and Google and others. What used to be super expensive technology to make an auto pilot is now pennies. So so absolutely we now by -- or coat tailing on the Smartphone industry. You know this is these are the same things just a different form factors and as a result this which. Would cost you know 100000 dollars ten years ago now is -- and be 150 dollars and ultimately will be disposed. And disposable -- -- we were going from. From commercial drones in military drones to personal drones and now disposable -- that's when you get into the kind. In a statistical and approaches that it -- Daniel one of the things you talk about in your book. Use. A government reaction to the obvious proliferation of potentially dangerous vehicles. Under the control of people who are uncontrollable and and outlawing a ban on this technology well yeah -- had to show that that is sort of knee jerk reaction. That -- do you think we're in danger of that now while it's one of the reasons but he had to kind of analysts and market but it would be -- -- and effective thing to do because says this is gonna happen -- benefit that I I was reading recently. LA times mention that there is -- 1987 agreement. That the US government signed to limit. That that limits our export petition drone technology means that a name that the missile technology control regime -- And -- manufactures in the United States were complaining that that's the reason. They can't sell drone technology overseas what they're doing is pointing to the fact that all of the stuff is happening in the civilians. That that we shouldn't be restricted from doing this and that sort of shows that that it restricting it if if we don't. Embrace and understand and can meaningfully regulate -- They're gonna happen everywhere else. And and in their gonna coming from the outside so again there's really no stopping this way that we have to be reasonable about it I wanted to show at her -- it such that. That's the first thing that -- just what we'll just. Retract this this license to use this for -- use. And that'll protect and no -- and protect the cool thing is. I didn't -- let's get this thing. Just all I'm an exodus that we've yet despite -- -- -- -- which I mean you know again achieved by chips -- -- is yet the software was developed on the Internet it's open source it's gonna wait for freedom the other that -- -- -- so. -- to get away from you know that the doom and gloom here here and under the stuff that that we can all enjoy and participate in. You you have a an inexpensive palm auto pilot autonomous pilot there what else is happening in the approachable world of these products I mean you've got them. The batteries. Motors. Sensors. Are who wears a state of the art right now and -- -- yeah so so there's sort of the read. Breakthroughs and that allow something like this the first is that these are written user on this called -- -- -- it says it's in -- do we know basis as our Japan there's not a patent. And its copper production plants and others. These are and in unstable platforms as possible for human being to -- Basically went the way they work is the -- and speed up or slow down the various props to go in one direction to the other direction and and it goes -- -- -- That can only be done by computers so we had -- -- invents the three things first of all. The bill to put sensors and computers really small platform is -- men censors -- -- -- electronic. Mechanical devices which are found -- your phones and start with -- airbag sensors. I'm the second is these motors -- Russians motors needs an it person that the dvd drives and the third is that a high efficiency matters that bring when that lithium polymer batteries which again. Aren't the kind of feature phones and and and laptops. So -- what's interesting is that all three of them came out of the computer industry is came out of dvd drives the lithium polymer batteries -- laptops. And phones and these sensors again came out of phones etc. so. -- ten years ago and not -- Is that why we didn't -- -- doctors until now because they're inherently in simple but exactly Internet -- their regular helicopter with that with a big road network that's human control they early but -- exactly need a computing to be on the computer flown by wire which is another with the human beings controls the ought to be on Apple's. -- -- When it comes to autonomy which is one of the things that you're working on -- group about your community members are working on. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- drone making a cemetery mean how what we do yeah exactly so it's a what you do is and either says its software that runs on year and a mission and -- called up and time it opens the Google map user Lenovo and every -- one it's just click and say. Here goes there compared to each each -- in Japan -- decency law leader. -- look at a certain point of interest and change altitude whatever is disputes clicking the menu items. And you just for you click QA inflammation and and you upload mission to this includes an automatic take -- landing and -- you just press got. And and that is -- and you look at the -- you look at the laptop and watch -- it camera's view in real time but the aircraft flight. A year or so I think we heard about. A group of protesters -- in the country I forget which was forgive me. Who were using I drone technology to monitor. At approaching dangerous force of military or police. It's it's been a number of places that it works so are -- use this technology changing the I -- -- -- it's a it's obvious question how -- this technology changing the equation. Of no government vs people one that -- Well look at that what happens then you know we've seen a lot of it is that people trying to films please which is a legal activity and then getting arrested -- -- much harder if you're filming them from a drop. It's probably safer and again there's that attribution thing like well somebody's filming and then I know that there's been some talk about getting a police drones ma -- I don't know what they would do with them other than film protesters -- -- for legal reasons but I think it's only a matter of time and still until they start -- and some sort of countermeasure to knock down protesters Jones. Gonna get pretty -- Well -- -- if these things are autonomous. Ports it you know there's AM a Peta group with -- in India a bird hunt pigeon shoot for something and set up but I had set out drones to film the hunters. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Doesn't quite evident signs and shut them down her dad -- -- sitting ducks to winners if you. So the album and there's this thing called a drone journalism. Which is the notion that journalists what you know in their in their function is -- you. Being an oversight. Authorities would use -- to you to do this on. I think it's a good idea I wanna be really really cautious. -- about the use it. Putting a -- lawnmower. Unit with spinning blades over the head of a crowd operated possibly amateurs it's really really and it's illegal in those countries. I'm so I you know I'm IE I and I think that people who are. Responsible. Journalism are very very quickly recognized that that particular examples -- -- -- one. It among other things and you really should keep -- two characters -- people. I'm an airplane owner -- -- -- -- much better choice and even though that's also took us in those countries. So un it's easy to get too ahead of ourselves and service start -- its its gonna be. You know Occupy Wall Street with their air force vs the police -- air -- -- -- -- battling over the skies. I think it would be -- dangerous. We've talked about quads and gets a helicopter. Whenever I have a Mexico as adopters. Of course were familiar with a flying fixed wing and a comments or on on -- unmanned vehicles. Are there other form factors that are emerging here. -- -- -- -- We focus on four in our community there's multi counters which range from traditional helicopters one -- all the way up to eight for more blades. An aircraft is mentions them and it typically relatively small ones that India and -- light blue would actually hurt -- it. -- wouldn't do much damage. A we have rovers which are autonomous ground vehicles in which are also supported seem to put the box and -- -- -- and RC car and you -- Armed -- -- lamps and and blimps are lovely platform or island after teaching autonomy inside the home with children completely safe. Space and there's also boats and submarines that we haven't gotten as much in an inaccurate and in and the flying raking in the wired story talked about -- bots -- -- -- Replace yeah those are as limitless Nazi research. And efforts -- and you know right now -- -- run -- right now the smallest patents are and what doctors about this. -- once you get smaller you're dealing with base power management issues -- you know it's it's really hard to get enough power. Insects use. -- chemistry you know they get food in the environment converted to glucose to power their very muscles. I'm we're nowhere near sufficient is that with certain electric motors and batteries and so you end up with some. As you get smaller air dynamics get harder and parishes get harder and you know -- -- power wheat -- ratio gets all -- that we're we're we're not there yet -- -- -- in violence means. -- -- -- anywhere there other form factors that you look at that left on the cutting room floor and there's this great scene there's this great -- in your book where you you have -- -- Yes. -- yet. And you can buy does that I'd seen them and in start -- offs around great phone -- it upsets my cat though. It's it it's noisy in that -- US has a good reason to get -- -- they'll -- you. Now that there's many different form factors also the as far as the submarines and and -- There's some universities using them for doing environmental monitoring and basically just set them and some sort of pattern to measure things in the deep ocean edges are really yet to great use. And summaries are lovely -- -- of what what what robots do his jobs -- dull dirty dangerous. Right so so you know dull section -- most interesting ones just to -- watch something for. Right and and then you can -- by the submarines is that they can just they just these these these sliders that is used the terms and attach a -- into the ocean to. Together for months at a time -- the only challenge for for submarines that you can -- yes water. And they really don't know where they -- any particular point in time and because they don't have to throughout the for so long they can carry a lot of energy with them. So they tend to come -- with the currents I'm so little kind of if it -- that is academy. As as a kind of via a sensor that's out there somewhere -- -- -- it surfaces and you know where it is. Etc. but it's not highly controllable as opposed to these others which are you pinpoint accuracy -- exactly. Let's wrap up. -- People watching the show I'd probably like probably thinking I have to try and -- what's the best way to get started with. With this technology. So I'm I actually although although everyone's in love sculptures -- -- really cool they're actually a little -- For beginners -- recommend you start with owner. On security -- -- rounds out. Which is the community that does this and you'll see lots of getting -- -- etc. But I would recommend that someone start with AM. Film RC airplanes because that's sixty dollars -- -- one -- called X that we that we quite like. On and just learn to fly it it's super easy to crash a bunch of times that it can it bounce. On then once comfortable that and then get -- it's the cheapest model that you know out there it's called it's called art -- I get one of these and put it in there. And at that -- chief editor -- now you can experiment with mission planning and you -- and you put a camera on board -- On the VOA Jones -- the electrons. -- -- -- I recognized full well -- this is a thriller yes and that that the conflict is for the sake of the story but you do spend a fair amount of time thinking about this article of these books. What are you concerned about or excited about in the realm of well autonomous vehicles. I am both. Citing concern I would say as far as my concern. -- in particular focus on again to kill decision that is giving. Drones economists drones the authorities the power pull the trigger on human target. That that. Crossing that line is -- -- we have knock on their that we had not gone yet there yet. Officially -- -- there's a couple of systems out there now I think I've talked to you about for the -- systems but that that. That features turned off right now in the DMZ between north and South Korea and -- in the Gaza mr. Gaza Strip out those are sniper -- those are not flying around. But there is no technical impediment -- so I'm glad that people are reluctant to make this this choice although I do know that with fifty other nations developing problems. Somebody's -- -- and that I'm and concerned that we would cross that line very hastily. Because I think there is a a dangerous concentrating effect. Of giving that authority to machines because then suddenly you don't media other people's -- and to have a war. You just need some -- to some money and you can conduct a very large scale secret war. Rather invisibly -- that concerns me in the context of a democracy that -- that's really one of the concerns ahead in writing this -- now as far as the the hope I mean I think drones can do so much from a civilian when -- -- from environmental monitoring search and rescue and many many. -- diseases and -- find more all these people working so. They're gonna happen I just wanna do do a cautionary tale that was thrilling again it sort of export. And Torres is the author of kill decision which is -- horrible now -- or verbal and out now comes out July 19. Really really fun book. Chris Anderson is the editor in chief of wired and the founder of DIY drones where you can. Your own make your own thank you guys for coming -- great show leisure thanks everyone for watching reporters' roundtable -- backs him with another -- so thank you Stephen for producing. -- -- -- --