Should We be Terrified of Insect Drones?

Bioengineering, Robotics and Computer Learning Are Reaching Singularity

When Hal Lindsey first published his block-buster book Late Great Planet Earth in 1970, ordinary Americans didn’t have personal computers, DNA hadn’t been mapped and no one had ever heard of the world wide web. No matter, Lindsey’s best-selling prophecy book left an undeniable and wide-reaching mark on the American psyche—both Christian and secular. Lindsey’s dystopian warnings terrified Christians and non-Christians alike, but today’s scientific and technological advances should have us all wetting our collective pants.

Insect drones have been around for more than a decade, but the practical, widespread operation of them has been limited because of battery issues, though they are being used today by German, Dutch, British and Norwegian forces after first being employed in 2012 in Afghanistan. Their tiny size allows them to perch in covert places to capture images and spy behind enemy lines, or perhaps outside their target’s windows.

Prox Dynamics AS of Norway designed the Black Hornet Nano, a 4 inches x 1 inch (10 cm x 2.5 cm) drone for reconnaissance missions.

I am a huge fan of the “Hunger Games” movie series, where fictional Mockingjays were used to mimic people’s voices and could be found living in the wild eavesdropping on the participants in the games. But this doesn’t come close to what may soon affect us all. In an article in Ozy, author Tom Cassauwers puts it this way: “Imagine yourself in a war zone — perhaps you’re hiding in a forest, or taking cover in a ruined building. Suddenly you hear flapping wings and a buzzing sound that’s getting closer. Today, it’s probably just an insect. But in the future, it might mean you have just been detected.”

Researches know that nature is the best designer and have been studying for decades how birds and insects master flight and how they can best imitate it. Enter the Skeeter drone. Skeeter is one of the latest research and development projects to build a small-scale Unmanned Aerial System, which Animal Dynamics is undertaking in cooperation with the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, a part of the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense. The overall design is based on the body plan of a dragonfly, which is extremely agile in flight, has high endurance and is able to glide. Dragonflies are also nature’s most successful predator. The company is utilizing a flapping wing propulsion system that will be field tested sometime in 2020.

These insect drones are being touted as having nonmilitary uses, such as assisting in farming, by tracking bees and other wildlife for study, or to be used in search and rescue operations. That all sounds nice, but when billions of military research dollars are being poured into a technology that could potentially survey anyone—at any time—serious moral and privacy concerns should have the hair on everyone’s arms standing up.

When big brother, or a one-world government, ever comes to fruition, it’s easy to see how these types of flying insect drones, which will ultimately grow smaller and more sophisticated, could not only be used as devices to control people, but could be weaponized against humanity. I find the altruistic farming program or rescue mission defense a very weak one when weighed on the scales against the potential for abuse. If we think the stifling of free speech by google and social media is totalitarian today, we haven’t seen anything yet. Google is already monitoring Chinese citizens, hampering their human rights to free movement, free association and free speech. Chinese citizens are assigned social credit scores and can be “un-personed” based solely on what big tech reports back to governmental authorities.

The entire worldwide populist uprising is a direct response of the totalitarian takeover of power hungry governments jockeying with one another for a position in their new world order, so it’s really not so crazy to think that any insect drones developed going forward will be unfriendly to the human race. You’d have to eliminate human beings first to eliminate evil. As long as there remains power hungry men in the world, the temptation to control the world will ever remain.

Even more terrifying than tiny drones that fly, hover and rest like ordinary insects, is the U.S. military’s development of swarm technology, which allows groups of robots to act together and exhibit advanced swarm behaviors, such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing. Swarm technology using 103 Perdix micro-drones, a large scale U.S. army drone, was made possible by advancements in artificial intelligence. William Roper, Director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office said, “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.”

In a U.S. Department of Defense release, it was announced that one of the most significant tests of autonomous systems under development by the U.S. 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 did, indeed, demonstrate advanced swarm behaviors. You can click the hyperlink to the release to view the video of the test. If you watch the video to the end (about 3 minutes), the sound of the drones from the ground is bone chilling.

U.S. Department of Defense testing of the 103 Perdix micro-drone swarm.

In Revelation 9:10 we are treated to a gruesome glimpse of how drones of the future could be used to torment human beings. “They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.” This description of the end of days has baffled Christians and non-Christians alike, with the latter attributing the description of these horrifying beasts as just fanciful literature. But is it?

“The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).”

Whether you should be terrified of insect drones doesn’t have to rest on any end-time theological argument. One need only review human history to be convinced that technology, computer learning and robotics are leading us all into dangerous waters. There is no doubt that a fully weaponized drone with animal-like and human-like characteristics is already being developed in dark labs now. No military program or new development is ever released for public dissemination until years after it is developed. With the advent of bioengineering, technology and robotics, you can be certain that the warning in Revelation 10 is drawing ever quickly near. #Reignwell

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