A teen boy from the Netherlands has morphed his deceased pet rat into a radio-controllable drone.
Pepeijn Bruins, 13, wasn’t ready to part with his furry rodent friend “Ratjetoe” (Dutch for “Ratatouille”) when it died from cancer.
“I loved him very much,” Bruins expressed. “He always liked to be cuddled and he would run up my clothes and hide.”
“When I learned he had cancer and the vet had to put him to sleep I was very upset,” Bruins said.
The teen was intrigued when he saw videos depicting a flying stuffed cat drone.
“I had seen Bart and Arjen and their flying cat, and I asked my dad if it would be possible to have the rat fly.”
Bruins and his father reached out to the cat drone inventors, who helped them outfit Ratjetoe with a motor and propellers, creating the first-of-a-kind rat drone.
“The inventors have also made a flying ostrich and are working on a jet-propelled flying shark,” reports the UK’s Daily Mail.
While dead-animal-drones haven’t yet fully come into fashion, the U.S. military has long envisioned a sinister future where they will command fleets of miniature bird-like drones which could swarm in unison, jam enemy signals and possess lethal capabilities.
Indeed, an incredible video acquired through the US Air Force Research Laboratory last year established the military’s vision for the future of micro-UAVs (MAVs), which they call an “enhancement” to “the future war fighter.”
In the video, a swarm of tiny, winged drones drop from a plane and proceed towards various targets in a city. Some of the MAVs are able to “perch” on electrical wires to replenish energy supplies, but would appear similar to birds to everyday street observers, enabling them to hide in plain sight.
The mini-drones can also “crawl” along surfaces, and would have “advanced flight controls” for maneuvering through small, tight spaces, like hallways or rooms.
The video also shows some of the MAVs even have the ability to covertly kill unsuspecting victims.
“Individual MAVs may perform direct attack missions and can be equipped with incapacitating chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives for precision targeting capability,” the video states.
So while UAVs, like the aforementioned rat drone, fill a recreational niche for weekend hobbyists, and a personal niche for others, it’s important to keep in mind the military industrial complex already has an “unobtrusive, pervasive and lethal” intention behind their fleets of tiny, animal-like drones.