The New York Times recently reported on how the Libyan rebels facing an intelligence deficit, turned to the internet for a solution, and discovered Aeryon Labs based out of Waterloo, Ontario, had what they were looking for.
Aeryon manufactures unmanned surveillance aircraft that are typically used by oil companies to survey spills. The rebels in Libya are instead putting one to use coordinating their attacks. Thanks to its compact frame and lightweight – coming in at just 3 pounds – this tiny four-rotor helicopter can be mounted with a stabilized-image day- and night-vision cameras, but fits into a backpack and easily transportable.
More importantly the drone is extremely user friendly, allowing operators with limited flight knowledge to simply trace the flight path on touch screen displayed maps.
When you hear stories like these, its hard not to see how big of a game changer the internet really has been – even if eight countries had to sign off on this deal, with a private Canadian security company acting as an intermediary – the fact that the rebels can jump on the internet and have a drone “mail-ordered,” you know a line is being crossed.