The term 'one man army' has never been more true as new technology advances have placed the ability of a 130 drone swarm into the hands of one operator.
Defense contractor company Raytheon, in conjunction with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was able to successfully test their new technology in both an indoor and outdoor urban setting recently.
Dubbed 'OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics' (OFFSET), the swarm was made up of 130 physical drones as well as 30 simulated drones. Raytheon claims that the software and hardware used in the swarm allows an operator to command a swarm with 'minimal training', including a speech interface that allows the operator to give voice commands to the swarm.
The operator controlling the swarm won't be doing so at a desk with a joystick. Instead, they'll use a virtual reality interface that allows them to look through each drone individually. This creates an "interactive virtual view of the environment," the press release said.
"You can look behind the building to access a view of drone locations for example and use the virtual reality environment to test and see if your mission is viable," one official explained.
When you imagine that one person with minimal training can give voice commands to a drone swarm army - it presents some scary futuristic scenarios.
However some advances are being made that may allow drone swarms to act almost independently of human direction.
Several militaries have been working on developing Artificial Intelligence that allows the drones to work together without the need for an operator.
The basic idea of a drone swarm is that its machines are able to make decisions among themselves.
The swarm continue its mission, even if loses some drones during its mission.
The machine learning system is fed with data sourced from satellites, other reconnaissance drones, and aerial vehicles, as well as intelligence collected by ground units.
China is one of the nations leading the charge on the development of drone swarm technology. Some reports indicate that China has successfully tested a swarm of one thousand drones. And China appears to be interested in swarm capability as a method of attacking US aircraft carriers.
Several test simulations by the US Navy have shown that drone swarms are consistently able to get past ship defenses that are geared towards shooting down single planes. This weakness means it makes sense to attack an enemy ship with a large number of cheap drones rather than one missile costing the same.
Ironically, the best counter to drone swarm attacks being studied is a defensive drone swarm that can intercept the offensive ones, thus creating a virtual drone swarm war.
Some prophecy watchers find it interesting that the Bible describes "locust" type creatures that play a significant role in end-time conflict. Revelation 9 describes them this way:
"The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were something like crowns of gold, and their faces were like faces of men. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running to battle. They had tails like scorpions and stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men for five months. They had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek his name is Apollyon." (Revelation 9:7-11).
What on earth was the Apostle John talking about? Exactly what kind of locusts did he witness on the Isle of Patmos where he received these prophetic revelations?
The traditional interpretation is that these locusts could be evil entities and/or demonic physical or spiritual beings that will rise up out of the bottomless pit (abyss) to torment people and assume the characteristics of locusts.
Others speculate they may be some form of grotesque variation of natural locusts as we know them today (perhaps even some form of chimeras or other DNA manipulation that scientists are now moving ahead with), or did John the Apostle perhaps see some advanced military aerial machinery that he lacked the words to describe? Even the commentator in the video below refers to the drone swam as looking like a 'swarm of locust'.
These revelations were given to John about 2,000 years ago when there would have been no way for him properly to describe 21st-century technological inventions that would follow many centuries later. Is it possible John was describing some type of technology in our day similar to the drone swarms?
Learn more about China's drone swarm advances and it's direct threat to the US here: