Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Brief History of American Drones.

More super weapons. These were super-fun to draw. 
American drones from the Berlin Museum of Super-War's history of American drones-exhibition.

Spherebot 1. Although the US army had dabbled in robotic since the start of the war, mostly as part of the space-war effort, Spherebot 1 was the first American drone considered ready for active duty in 1944. Spherebot 1 was entirely remote controlled by two operators and, unlike some later models, could not feel love. He's perhaps most famous for his involvement in the important super-soldier-based Operation Krauthammer, at the very end of the war. Only one Spherebot 1 drone was ever built. 

Viet Cong Necklace. This "trophy" necklace, made by an unknown Viet Cong soldier ca 1968, is entirely made of Spherebot 5 claws, wire and ocular rings. The US drones were prone to malfunction in the Vietnamese climate, they had a far too narrow field of view, and the operators (three per drone, in different rooms) had difficulty coordinating against guerrilla-type attacks. Despite these flaws, more than 25. 000 drones were deployed during the war.

Terror Missile. One of the Museum's more impressive exhibitions is the life size model of a deployed American Terror Missile. This Cold War weapon was designed to be fired as a rocket from a submarine or silo, then land and deploy inside a nuclear war zone. The claws were made for ripping open bunkers and smashing buildings, the two arm-guns rained radioactive ultra-death on anything they aimed at. The gun on the chest channeled intense gamma radiation from the drone's core. The missile itself could be made to go up in a ten megaton explosion. This happened randomly during operation in about 10 percent of tests. Terror Missiles were only fired twice, once as passive "sentinels" during the Cuban missile crisis, and once by mistake in the short incident now referred to as the Pacific Robot War. 

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