What Could Possibly Go Wrong: DragonSpy Edition

You may recall that the Texas Navy recently commissioned six bad ass gunboats to patrol the Rio Grande. The thirty-foot crafts boast bullet resistant plating and six machine guns. They cost, wait for it, $3.5m. But that’s not the real cost. How much do you reckon taxpayers need to fork out to put some 20 officers on the water, including overtime, benefits and pensions? Why not have an unmanned craft that one geek can run from the comfort of his Texas Department of Public Safety cubicle? If I lived by a lake and I could order the NEANY DragonSpy with a semi rather than fully-automatic 7.62 . . . no, probably not. Friggin’ ATF.



  1. avatar إبليس says:

    Does the ATF have a policy regulating remote-controlled firearms?

    1. avatar 16V says:

      I’m not aware of a specific ruling, but there may be one. If you’re not within some sort of “reasonable” dstance (like 10 feet) I would wager most states would treat it as a booby-trap device – which is most non-bueno.

      Like all things – now that the someone has figured out that state-of-the-shelf digital hobby remotes can do just aboutanything, let alone what you can do with a simple Arduino-esque set-up, someone will build one. In fact, you can auto-target-track by hacking in a Kinect…

      It’s really painfully simple, and once the vid makes it to YouTube, watch the alarmist nonsense machine get kicked into high-gear.

      They’re already after those tiny little helos that you can take pictures with, just imagine of someone (other than the cops of course) got their hands on a remote controlled weapons platform.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    So, it’s a remote control doohickey with a live machine gun on board but the operator is miles away? Be patient, it will malfunction and if you have a jon boat handy you can have a new machine gun.

    1. avatar Aharon says:


      What is to keep the cartels or Mexican youth from ambushing and disabling it, take it home, and put it in the backyard for their younger brothers and sisters to play on?

  3. avatar Skyler says:

    Because if it is unmanned it can do only two things. Observe and shoot. If it is manned it can board, handcuff, etc.

    1. avatar Scott henson says:

      Who needs to handcuff dead bodies? And no reason to call the corner, it is a lake! Just sink the boat and call it a burial at sea.

  4. avatar shawmutt says:

    I think this should be one of your “What could possibly go wrong?” articles, coupled with the increase of ummanned drones in our airspace. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/unmanned-aerial-vehicles-civil-liberties-droned/story?id=16511914#.UI0zNMWHJ8E

  5. avatar Scott henson says:

    Why do you need fully automatic when you can have a computer pull the trigger for you fast enough?

  6. avatar 16V says:

    After the DPS shooting (and killing) of two unarmed, non-drug smuggling guys in a truck from a helicopter – what could possibly go wrong?

  7. avatar Joseph Millan says:

    Yea, I’m not to keen on this idea yet. The (IDFF) software will require all americans to be registered so it doesn’t accidently shoot daisy sue from tennessee there on vacation with a friend from her church camping trip last year. That’s just my first off the top of my head thought.

  8. avatar AlphaGeek says:

    I would have been a lot more impressed if they’d demonstrated a gyro-stabilized turret locked onto a target as the boat maneuvered. Instead of, um, pointing a loaded full-auto weapon coupled to a remote firing system at the cameraman. Ahem.

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