Manufacturing Minute: An Autonomous Combat Drone

In this episode, British engineers unveil an artificially intelligent combat drone.

A British company's secretive project has yielded one of the most advanced aircraft in the world.

Meet the Taranis, a 39-foot combat drone named for the Celtic god of thunder that can reach speeds of more than 700 miles per hour.

The project is exciting -- or dangerous, depending on your point of view -- because it can maintain contact with its human operator on the ground while appearing virtually invisible to radar. 

It can also automatically select threats within a search area and fire on the target after an OK from its pilot.

The British military has no plans to implement the Taranis in its regular fleet. Instead, it will help test out aviation technology. 

Critics, however, said the drone continues the trend of weapons becoming further and further removed from the soldiers who use them.


Does the Taranis represent an exciting new frontier in the aerospace industry? 

Should we heed the warnings of top scientists about artificially intelligent weapons?

Email us or leave your comments below.

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