From the latest issue of John Robb’s Global Guerrillas:

Cyberweapons and synthetic biological weapons (GMOs) can self provision.

They have the ability to live off the land (hosts, like human bodies and PCs) once they are unleashed.

NOTE: In many cases, they can also make perfect copies of themselves (copies in the trillions).

But what about drones?

Aren’t they limited by quantity of energy in their batteries?

Yes, drones do have the capacity to self provision too. One of the more elegent ways is for a drone to use power lines to “induct” the energy it needs.

A drone that can recharge itself from a power line has the potential to operate for years — monitoring, relaying, etc. — without returning to base.

If the decision making software is good enough it could source its energy and target data for years without referencing any command system.

In fact, with wireless access to the Internet (including RSS feeds), GPS, and other easily accessible data sources… it decision making can be very dynamic.

Here’s a video showing some US DoD contractors working on making that a reality, right now.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy person’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.