US mass shootings prompt development of Taser-wielding drone
It's a sad fact that mass shootings have become an all-too-common occurrence in the US. Defense tech company Axon has announced what it states will be a new means of resolving such incidents quickly and relatively safely, utilizing a drone equipped with a Taser.
Axon, the Arizona-based firm that manufactures the Taser, announced its plans to develop the drone this Thursday (June 2nd).
Few details on the aircraft itself have been released at this point, other than the facts that it will be a remotely controlled quadcopter, equipped with one of the company's drone-specific Axon Air video cameras and a miniaturized version of the Taser electroshock weapon.
The Taser works by firing two small darts, each of which remains connected to the main device by a thin wire. When those darts strike a person (such as an active shooter), they deliver an electric shock which disrupts the individual's nervous system. Ideally, this just results in the person being temporarily incapacitated, although a number of Taser-related deaths certainly have been reported.
The drone will be part of a larger system, which will also include a network of security cameras – in schools, businesses and other locations – along with a VR-based training program designed to teach first responders how to deal with active shooters. It is hoped that this combined approach could ultimately allow authorities to "stop mass shootings in less than 60 seconds."
Project partners include Fusus, which is developing the camera network, along with DroneSense, which is working on the real-time drone control system.
UPDATE (June 6th): Axon has announced that it is halting development on this project, as nine members of the company's ethics board announced that they were resigning in protest.