Libyan rebels get high-tech eyes in the sky on Gaddafi forces (video)


Rebel fighters watch artillery fire near the front line at the town of Wadi al Hamra, in Libya, March 28, 2011. (ANDREW WINNING/REUTERS)

It’s time for the afternoon pick-u-up, and if you’ve been following the breaking news coming out of Libya, this should help bring you out of your lunch coma pretty quickly.

Rebel groups in Libya have reportedly taken over Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi’s compound, though Gaddafi remains on the loose.

But how did they do it?

NATO forces helped, surely, but there ‘s one tool that the rebels have been using to fight Libyan military forces that you might not expect. The video follows.

Our blogger, Dominic Basulto wrote early Wednesday about the rise of robots and what it could mean for the future of warfare. But it appears that future is not only emerging for organized armies, but for rag-tag ones as well. Libyan rebels are using a drone armed with a variety of eye-in-the-sky tools to root out and defeat the Libyan armed forces.

DefenseTech reports that the drone, which is called a Scout micro UAV, is made by the Canadian firm Aeryon Labs, and has been used by the rebels to see around obstacles, like mountains, to get a look — sometimes a really good look — at their targets and opponents. The UAV, or unmanned aerial vehicle has a 2-mile range, is armed with a thermal camera and can hover in place. It is steered using GPS data, and the controller is a touch-pad screen, rather than a joystick. Zariba Security Corporation, another Canadian firm, was in charge of getting the technology into the fighters’ hands.

Perhaps the term “rebels” no longer applies. “Assymetrical fighting force,” as DefenseTech writes, may be more adequate.

(DefenseTech, via Gizmodo)

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