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Drone Swarms as You Know Them Are Just an Illusion—for Now

Liam CobbPhoto by: Liam Cobb Look at all the pretty drones. Hovering above sports stadiums from Houston to Pyeongchang, many hundreds of them have lately sparkled in artful murmuration. On a recentTime magazine cover, 958 drones pixelated the sky. The world record, 1,374 LED-bedazzled microbots, was set by Chinese company EHang UAV in May. So-called drone swarms—the phrase people have taken up with gusto—are having their biggest, buzziest year ever. It’s an evocative word,swarms, and innocuous enough when applied to one ofIntel’s drone light shows. But it’s tinged with alarm—if drones can dance at twilight, they can also attack. Sure enough, a gang outside Denver sent a small fleet to harass FBI agents on a raid earlier this year. In Syria, rebels reportedly sicced a squadron of quadrotors on a Russian base. To the media, both events were swarms. Take comfort, then, in this buzzkill: “The swarm is really an illusion,” says Mac Schwager, an assistant professor at Stanford who studies mul…

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Kazakhstani firms unveil new Karakurt robotic combat vehicle

Kazakhstani public and private industry joined to create an armed robotic vehicle, the Karakurt, and unveiled it during the KADEX 2018 defence exhibition in Astana.
The tracked unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) was designed by Kazakhstani companies Robotron Aspandau and New Tech Distribution, with support from the Kazakhstan Engineering Research and Development Centre.
A Karakurt robotic vehicle prototype is shown during the KADEX 2018 exhibition fitted with an NSVT 12.7 mm heavy machine gun and two RPG-26I RPGs.Photo by: Miroslav Gyurosi
The companies started developing the Karakurt UGV in mid-2016, finalised the basic design at beginning of 2018, and started design trials before mid-year. According to Robotron Aspandau representatives, the designers plan to attend military user trials from August 2018 through the year’s end.
The prototype displayed during KADEX 2018 was fitted with a weapon station armed with an NSVT 12.7 mm heavy machine gun and 250 rounds, and two RPG-26I 'Aglen’ rocket-propelled grenade launchers.