This Israeli-Made Killer Racing Drone Is A Nightmare For Some


Last week, an Israeli defense company painted a terrifying picture. in about two minutes video on YouTube Resembling an action movie, soldiers on a mission are suddenly pinned down by enemy gunfire and call for help.

In response, a tiny drone shoots out of its mother ship to the rescue, closing in behind the enemy soldiers and kill them with ease. While the situation is bogus, the drone, unveiled last week by Israel-based Elbit Systems, is not.

The Lanius, which in Latin can refer to meat birds, represents a new generation of drones: agile, connected with artificial intelligence and capable of scouting and killing. The machine is based on the design of a racing drone, allowing it to maneuver in tight spaces such as alleyways and small buildings.

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The company’s promotional content promotes its updates. After being dispatched into battle, Lanius’s algorithm can map the scene and scan people, telling enemies from allies, relaying all that data to soldiers who can then simply press a button to attack or kill whoever they want.

For weapons critics, that represents a nightmare scenario, one that could alter the dynamics of the war.

“It’s extremely concerning,” said Catherine Connolly, a weapons expert with Stop Killer Robots, an anti-gun advocacy group. “Basically, it just allows the machine to decide if you live or die if we remove the human control element for that.”

Representatives for Elbit Systems did not return a request for comment.

The use of drones in warfare has become commonplace. The US drone arsenal is responsible for the deaths of enemies and civilians in the Middle East. In Russia’s war against Ukraine, Moscow has been seen using a killer drone that can bomb targets, destroying them without warning.

Large and small drones have had an impact on warfare. In particular, Ukraine’s use of the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2, a drone the size of a small plane and equipped with laser-guided missiles, has wreaked havoc on Russian tanks and trucks.

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For weapons manufacturers, that provides an attractive target.

Elbit Systems, based in Haifa, Israel, says in promotional content Your Lanius is equipped with features that would be particularly useful in urban warfare environments, where troops cannot see their enemy well.

According to the drone data sheet, the drone is the size of the palm of your hand, approximately 11 inches by 6 inches. It has a top speed of 45 miles per hour. He can fly for about 7 minutes and has the ability to carry lethal and non-lethal materials. It is unclear how lethal the lethal materials would be.

The drone is equipped with WiFi and radio technology for communication. It can maneuver using GPS navigation, and the drone’s onboard artificial intelligence system can scan and map urban battlespaces, sending soldiers a 3D map of their surroundings.

The drone’s autonomous software helps with “enemy detection and classification,” according to the company, useful for “deadly ambush.”

The company notes that the drone cannot decide to kill someone on its own and needs a “human in the loop” to make the decision and pull the trigger.

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Despite that, Connolly of Stop Killer Robots has numerous concerns.

The feature that requires humans to participate in the decision to kill can probably cancelled, he said. “Changing that will probably just require a software update,” Connolly added. “There is…absolutely nothing preventing the manufacturer from doing that or an attorney or agent purchasing these systems from requesting that they do so.”

Lanius’s ability to use algorithms to differentiate enemies from allies seems troubling, he said. The general public should know how the drone distinguishes between a combatant and a civilian, what data the system’s algorithm is trained on to make those calls, who has labeled what data is used and what kind of behavior is flagged as making someone appear threatening, he said.

“Basically, it just shows that systems can now decide, using an algorithm… to take human lives,” he said.

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