World’s first flying file-sharing drones in action
March 21, 2012
The Pirate Bay’s announcement of file servers on hovering drones may have sounded like a joke, but in fact, these pirate drones already exist.
Project “Electronic Counter Measures” has built a swarm of five fully operational drones that prove that an “aerial Napster” or an “airborne Pirate Bay” is not as futuristic as it sounds.
Liam Young, co-founder of Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today, said his group has already built a swarm of file-sharing drones.
“Part nomadic infrastructure and part robotic swarm, we have rebuilt and programmed the drones to broadcast their own local Wi-Fi network as a form of aerial Napster. They swarm into formation, broadcasting their pirate network, and then disperse, escaping detection, only to reform elsewhere,” says the group, describing their creation.
“The public can upload and share files, photos, and data with one another as the drones float above the significant public spaces of the city. The swarm becomes a pirate broadcast network, a mobile infrastructure that passers-by can interact with,” the creators explain.
One major difference compared to more traditional file-sharing hubs is that it requires a hefty investment. Each of the drones costs 1500 euros to build. Not a big surprise, considering the hardware that’s needed to keep these pirate hubs in the air.
“When the audience interacts with the drones they glow with vibrant colors, they break formation, they are called over and their flight pattern becomes more dramatic and expressive,” the group explains.
The drones can also have other use cases than being a “pirate hub.” For example, they can serve as peer-to-peer communications support for protesters and activists in regions where Internet access is censored.
Electronic Counter Measures by Liam Young of Tomorrows Thoughts Today