Elbit Systems' Lanius: The Self-Flying Combat Drone

Elbit Systems' Lanius: The Self-Flying Combat Drone

Israeli defense technology company Elbit Systems has developed and released a self-flying combat drone "Lanius". Based on a racing drone, it takes off from a large parent drone, approaches its target with agility, and self-destructs to get the opponent involved.

There are already examples of commercial quad-copter drones that are cheap and highly maneuverable and can be modified to be relatively easy to equip and release explosives, so the operator has to take care of himself. You can complete your mission without putting yourself in danger. It also plays the role of reconnaissance on the front line without being noticed by the enemy.

Lanius is especially useful in complex urban battle environments. If you try to fly a drone in a city with many obstacles, it seems that a high level of skill is required for the operator, but according to the drone information site DroneDJ , SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) technology, which combines cameras and AI, It is possible to 'distinguish combatants and civilians' because it maps the inside of buildings that are invaded for the first time and identifies people and weapons with advanced recognition technology.

The Lanius has a maximum takeoff weight of 1.25kg and can carry a lethal or non-lethal payload up to 150g. The flight time is only about 7 minutes, but since the mission is finally completed by self-destruction, it seems that one-way flight time is enough.

The AI ​​system to be installed is NVIDIA's Jetson AI system sound module, which processes information from various sensors and cameras with low power consumption.

A well-edited introductory video shows a large drone carrier approaching the battle area, from which three Lanius take off in sequence. On the other hand, there is also a scene where a soldier takes out Lanius from a backpack and flies it, showing that flexible deployment methods are prepared.

Elbit Systems has equipped the Lanius with its in-house developed battle group management software, Legion-X, giving it partial autonomy. However, suicide attacks to eliminate or incapacitate a target cannot be carried out without human approval.

In addition, there is also an ambush mode function, and it is possible to land and turn off the rotor sound, monitor a specific area, and when an armed soldier appears in front of you, you can issue an alarm to the operator and enter a battle stance.

Although it is still at the level of modifying commercial drones, considering the evolution of drones and AI over the past few years, it is not hard to imagine that such commercial-based combat drones will continue to increase rapidly. However, I hope that, even if we develop technology, we will live in a world where such lethal devices are no longer necessary.

** Image: elbitsystems

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