Facebook PixelUsing synchronized drones to display emergency notices, warnings and instructions during critical times
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Using synchronized drones to display emergency notices, warnings and instructions during critical times

Image credit: Drone100" performed by Ars Electronica Futurelab, for Intel, in 2015

Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice Mar 24, 2022
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Use a bunch of coordinated drones with lights to spell out or indicate what people should do in case of an emergency when classic warning systems have been rendered useless.
  1. In case of war, civil or otherwise, the attacker will take down communication and power first to create confusion. This means that unless there is a backup power system or people live relatively close to each other, Most people will have no idea what is happening and panic will ensue.
  2. Taking into consideration the fact that there is a tactical advantage in attacking at night, drones with lights offer the best option on how to guide people on what to do to preserve their lives.
  3. Since the system is live, you can change evacuation routes at a moment's notice to ensure that people will stay on the safest path.
  4. Since it's not one unit but a bunch of drones, taking them down would also pose a challenge for the attacking party.
  5. The drones are really small so they can't appear on radar when you disperse them, Similarly, turning off the lights on them at night renders them practically invisible.
  6. Since they can be operated by a program, it doesn't take a lot of manpower and other people can be directed to aid other efforts.
How it works
The drones have their own communication infrastructure that can be moved around to expand or even move the range which they roam so it is impossible to completely destroy. And even if you could , the system is modular so all the parts are complerely replacable and interchangable.
I saw a company use this system to display a QR code to a game they were marketing, It makes sense to use such a flexible system. The novelty also adds to memorability which was a really great catch. There was also a vincent van gogh inpired drone show in china that was really neat.
The drones aren't even controlled by a person, there is a software that even allows you to control 100 drones from just 1 computer . You just make the flight path and the drones will follow it perfectly.
Bottom line is, If drones can be used to drop bombs and take lives or market products and make money, It would only be moral to try and use that technology to save lives.
It would be possible to use an electromagnetic pulse to take down the drones, but I think you could fit them with a faraday cage system to protect their vital components. At least I think you can.



Creative contributions

Some advice on the design of the algorithm that is guiding the drone behavior

Povilas S
Povilas S Mar 27, 2022
The algorithm guiding the behavior of the drones should be written in a way that if some drones got taken down, the others would compensate for the lost part of the message, they should reorganize themselves to make the best use of the drones that are left in the air with regards to making the message understandable.
Also, if possible drones should try to avoid being taken down, this could be done by equipping them with radars (as you suggested in the comments), but also, they could be equipped with cameras monitoring their surroundings both on the ground and in the air and an AI system could guide the drones to try bypassing any projectiles directed at them, including bullets.
It's perhaps better to invest more in making such system less prone to damage initially than deal with the consequences when the enemy destroys it.
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Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice2 years ago
yeah, I think more should go to making the drones more resistant to attack than avoiding a direct attack. Since the drones are supposed to evacuate civilians before the invading army comes into contact with them, It is very unlikely that they could ever be in the range of gunfire.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Contrived _voice Yes, but they might be useful even in the midst of the conflict, don't you think so?
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Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice2 years ago
Povilas S yes, but since they are unarmed, exposing them to the conflict directly may lead to heavy losses and it becomes completely legal to attack them. I do think that they could be used for subterfuge and misleading enemy soldiers.
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General comments

jnikola2 years ago
Cool idea and I love the shows you linked. What could be a problem is that, in times of real danger in which radios, TVs, and phones are not working (wars), people are not staying in their apartments or in the open field. They are stationed in underground shelters and they couldn't see the drone-mediated message sent to them.
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Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice2 years ago
J. Nikola The idea is to use the drones to get them to the bunker locations
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
2 potential cons:
  • nearby people looking at the drones are in immediate danger of being hit by something that's aiming for the drones
  • An expensive way to get the message out. If shot down, you cannot replace the drones in times of war
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Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice2 years ago
Darko Savic Got two solutions to that one: Drone movements are highly irregular, especially a horde of 100 or more, One drone could be fitted with a radar system to detect large incoming bodies and guide the others to avoid it. Even if you were to shoot at them with a gun, it would boil down to chance since casual soldiers aren't trained to shoot down irregularly shooting objects. It's the same logic as to why it's very hard to swat or catch a fly with your hand.
Also, I think that since the drones can be classified as civilian evacuation vehicles, It could technically be considered a war crime to attack them.
As for distance from civilians. Drone shows can be seen from up to 4 miles away , so even if the drones were shot at, they could maintain a safe distance from civilians while still offering guidance.
Cost shouldn't be a problem, since even if some drones are taken down, you could just simplify the message to require fewer and fewer drones.


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