Meet CUPID: The Drone That Will Shoot You With an 80,000 Volt Taser

Meet CUPID: The Drone That Will Shoot You With an 80,000 Volt TaserGizmodo

Are drones not scary enough for you yet? How about this? A drone helicopter that spots you and identifies you as an intruder. It tells you to stop and put your hands behind your head. Instead, you keep coming. The drone then shoots you with barbed Taser darts that pump 80,000 volts into you. If you try to get up, it will continue pumping voltage into you until you submit and the authorities arrive.  

This isn’t some dystopian theory. It’s very real already, and I just saw it in action. Yes, it is terrifying.

At Chaotic Moon in Austin, Texas, amazing things are being made. It’s a bleeding-edge design and development firm that has created apps, games, systems, and websites for the likes of GM, Chevrolet, Fox, Pixar, Marvel, American Idol, Intel, The Daily, and Whole Foods to name just a few. But when they’re not doing that, they’re trying crazy stuff.

CUPID, which stands for Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone, is meant to be a conversation-starter. As of now, there are no plans to sell it or release it (at least not that they would disclose). It’s more to get us talking about what these machines are capable of, and what we want to do about it.

The drone is already capable of being fully autonomous, but due to legal reasons—not technological limitations—it had to be manually piloted for the demo I attended. In real life, it could work like this:

  • Someone comes onto your property, which trips your home’s outdoor motion detectors.
  • CUPID wakes up on its perch, activates, and flies over to get a visual of the person. At the same time, it alerts you via a smartphone app that something is up.
  • Once it finds the intruder, it uses an onboard camera (currently a GoPro Hero 3) to transmit the intruder’s image to you. If you’re like, “Oh, that’s just Aunt Helen,” or it’s a deer or something, you press a button on your phone and it goes back to its perch.
  • However, if it is an intruder, you press the Intercept button, and it warns them that they need to turn around and walk away. It also has two-way audio communication, so you can tell them yourself if you want. If they start walking away from your property, CUPID will leave them alone.
  • But if they keep on coming, CUPID will shoot them with barbed Taser darts and zap them with a very incapacitating 80,000 volts of electricity straight to the nipples (or where ever the darts hit you). At the same time, it alerts the authorities. If you try to get away before the cops come, it will keep zapping you. Yes, it really works. They tried it on one of their employees this morning. (He’s fine.)

Meet CUPID: The Drone That Will Shoot You With an 80,000 Volt TaserSEXPAND

Other options? You could also choose to outfit your CUPID to shoot pepper balls, which are basically paintballs filled with the stuff they put in pepper spray. It can also be flown using a virtual reality goggles, to give you the drone’s perspective. The possibilities are more or less limitless, which also makes them scarier. Currently CUPID is in the hands of “good guys,” but it doesn’t take a major leap to realize that something like this could be potentially devastating in the hands of “bad guys.” What if they decided to use it to attack people from far away? What if they outfitted it with a real gun, instead?

So, yeah, it’s effectively started a conversation.

For those interested in the technical nitty-gritty, here are a handful of CUPID’s specs:

  • Hexacopter with folding frame ­
  • Remote Controlled Taser
  • Six 17-inch carbon fiber blades
  • 40amp speed controller
  • GPS flight controller
  • Two 3 cell 6400mAh batteries ­
  • GoPro Hero3
  • RC FPV Vision System goggles ­
  • Knight Rider Style lights
  • Two tentacles

Meet CUPID: The Drone That Will Shoot You With an 80,000 Volt Taser1SEXPAND

According to Chaotic Moon, CUPID is just the beginning of what they’re doing with drones. They are currently working on an EMP Drone, which is essentially to stop paparazzi drones from spying on people. The EMP Drone would fly close to the intruding drone (within about six feet) and blast an electromagnetic pulse that flies the offending drone’s circuits and knocks it out of the sky. The EMP Drone would have a faraday cage, so it would be impervious to its own blast. It would also have a downward-facing camera, so if it sees a person or a car beneath the drone, it wouldn’t release the pulse, so drones aren’t falling on people’s heads.

They’re also working on an Oil & Gas Drone for remotely inspecting gas pipelines for environmental hazards such as leaks. How would it do that? It’s outfitted with a FLIR thermal camera. Pretty sweet.

Anyway, it certainly raises a lot of questions, and we hope you’ll pose and argue some of them in the discussion below. [ Chaotic Moon]

7 thoughts on “Meet CUPID: The Drone That Will Shoot You With an 80,000 Volt Taser

  1. “Yes, it really works. They tried it on one of their employees this morning. (He’s fine.)”

    Ok, what dumbass would volunteer to be shot at with a tazer? How many stupid assholes are there really in this country?

  2. Time to break out the rubber vests and the guns. If not, throw a stone at it. This thing’ll be completely worthless after that.

    “At the same time, it alerts the authorities. If you try to get away before the cops come, it will keep zapping you.”

    Couldn’t you just pull it out or rub it against something to knock it off your chest when the drone is not looking? And what happens if the drone malfunctions and continues to shock the person without realizing it until the cops arrive? What if the suspect ends up dead from it? I guess the suspect’s life wouldn’t matter in that case and it will have all been justified and a mere technical glitch that will be fixed shortly, right?

    Can we hit the people who designed these things over the head and hang them for treason after tasering the shit out of them with their own drone?

    1. A little bit off subject but I have read that by sewing carbon fabric into your cllothing that it will make your clothing taser proof.Just something that I read on a few articles while doing a search.
      I did a search on” making taser proof clothing”.
      I do not know what to think of these taser proof clothing articles but they do seem interesting.
      I was going to post a article or two on this subject but they were all pretty old articles .
      Do a search on these home made taser proof clothing – what do ya think Inretrospect ?
      Anybody know anything about taser proof clothing ? Just wondering.

      Also, Would a magnet or something like a magnet shut down one of those drones – I was just wondering about things like that because there has got to be a simple way to disable one of those robots don`t ya think.

      1. Yes, Digger you can make/buy a Taser-proof jacket.

        What would be better is to return the Taser charge back to the cop. This would be done by adding a series of capacitors wired into the woven mesh, which can then be sent back (discharged) through spring-loaded darts, shot from the underside of a wrist band (like Spiderman). My imagination runs wild with challenges like this.

        Now, I’m way off topic… but to answer your question: yes, it can be done but I’m not sure how to deal with the Taser cartridge barbs (Kevlar jacket liner?).

        The robot is most likely double-insulated, so I don’t know if anything short of a massive EMP, acid, or sustained high temperature would stop it. A paint balloon would blind it. It may prove better to jam or hijack the robot’s transmission control frequency. However, without the robot’s specifications, it will be hard to determine its jamming vulnerabilities.

        1. L O L , Love your imagination Inretrospect 😉 .
          Yes, there has got to be some way to desable or confuse those robot/drones to go hay wire or something that would be easy and or portable.
          Yes a paint balloon would blind it but that would be kind of bulky and it may break on a guy though ya know. It would work though I bet.

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