Vortex Cannon vs Drone

Vortex Cannon vs Drone

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Hiding inside this box is an absolute marvel of engineering. You might just find protecting you the next time you're at a public event. That's got a lot of people. And while this just might look like a boring old drone, it's actually one of the fastest in the world.

It's autonomous, and it weighs five times more than is typical because the purpose of this drone is to lock onto a bad guy drone trying to do bad guy things and then smash it into a thousand pieces. Now the drones have become so incredibly cheap, fast, and maneuverable. It's only a matter of time before they're used to carry explosives, to attack key infrastructure, or even worse. But before we get too worried, there's some good news here. And so today we're going to take a look at all the latest technologies being developed to combat this very possible scenario.

And then after we see how the pros are doing it we’ll investigate how a few backyard YouTube engineers would handle the same problem. And I don't want to give too much away, but it might involve giant dart turrets, Tesla coil water guns, and the world's largest vortex cannon. Now to kick things off with the pros. I headed down to a company called Anduril, who were one of the leaders when it comes to drone defense, where I met up with their founder, Palmer Luckey, who, by the way, you might recognize is the dude who dropped out of school at 19 years old to invent the Oculus VR headset. And right out of the gate, he set the stage. The United States has the ability to defend against, fighter jet attacks or bomber invasions and zero ability to control what happens in the first few hundred feet of our airspace.

That's the thing we have to solve. We have to tame the Wild West. Palmer explained to me there are six primary ways to take out a drone with bad intentions, and every method has a major flaw except for number six. The first is jamming, where you just overwhelm the drone with fake radio signals so it can no longer hear the instructions from the human operator, and they lose control. 70% of all consumer drones are from DJI, and they actually provide the equipment to law enforcement that will jam the communications like this. The second method to take out a drone with bad intentions is hack it, where you remotely hack into the drone using the radio signal, and then by exploiting known problems in the software, you could take control and force it to land or crash.

But Palmer pointed out the potential Achilles heel for both of these first two methods. All they have to do to bypass that is use a different brand of drone, use different brand of radio, use a different frequency, or build a drone that doesn't even need those frequencies in the first place. Basically, by using something besides the most popular consumer, drones and frequencies means this would have no effect.

Method number three is high powered lasers, where you basically just heat up the outside surface of the drone so high that it catches fire. And this works pretty well against plastic drone casings. But once again, there's a weakness. what if I just hang a five cent pie tin? Yeah It takes orders of magnitude more energy to burn through a metal reflective pie tin, it just doesnt work.

The next method is a focused beam of microwave energy, like an EMP. The goal here is to induce a current in the drone electronics so high that it fries the brain of the drone, but as Palmer explained, all a bad guy has to do to mitigate this is to buy some cheap copper tape from Home Depot, and once you cover the body of the drone, it becomes practically invisible to this attack. You can reduce the amount of power that gets to the internal electronics from an EMP by orders of magnitude, and that means a microwave beam gun that was previously able to fry a drone at 2000m away now only works if that copper taped drone is two meters away. So now the beam gun is basically useless.

Coming in at number five are nets fired in the air from other drones. And this makes sense if you're trying to capture the bad drone for forensic investigation. But net carrying drones by default are going to be slower and less maneuverable. So they're beatable with speed and agility. Now, all of this would be real bad news were it not for the sixth method that even works. If you designed a super drone that combined all the tricks to defeat methods one through five, and it's possibly the oldest method of destruction known to man.

Smashing stuff. And because this method is so foolproof, Anduril makes a blazing fast drone appropriately called Anvil, whose only job is to use kinetic energy to bust up a dangerous drone into thousands of pieces. Imagine a children's bowling ball thrown twice as fast as a major league Baseball fastball. That's what it's like getting hit by Anvil. And so naturally, after hearing all of this, I wanted to see it in action. So they took me out to their test grounds, where they set up a scenario where a bad guy drone was zooming towards our position.

Thank goodness we’ve got Anvil Now, they immediately identified the drone even before it had taken off. And that's due to the towers you see here. Each tower has sensors on it, such as radar, optical cameras or IR detectors. And then they use computer vision, machine learning and AI to detect, classify and track everything of interest in a designated area. It's so precise in fact, it will actually identify and track every single bird on the test range. They call this software system lattice, and it's the real secret sauce at the core of their company.

So what we do is we detect a drone, classify what it is, and if it's something that Anvil needs to go after, let's say you try to jam it, you try to hack it. It doesn't work. You now launch Anvil. Oh, here it goes.

Anvil immediately zoomed out to the bad guy drone, but importantly, it didn't engage. Instead, it just locked into position about 30m underneath it, perfectly nearing the other drones movements. Turn for a turn, just waiting for a human operator to give the go ahead to use it’s terminal guidance sensors to close the gap and attack from below, smashing into the drone at speeds approaching 200 miles an hour.

And, besides just Anvil, they have other systems too, such as Roadrunner here, which is designed to take out faster and larger drones where you would typically have to fire a Patriot missile. But unlike a Patriot missile, Roadrunner costs an order of magnitude less, and if you just scare off the threat without needing to engage, then it can come back to be reused for another time. Ultimately, Anduril is taking the SpaceX approach to using cutting edge engineering to make things way more capable for way less money. And you know they're doing something right because they have some portion of their solutions currently implemented in a lot of different places. Southern border, northern border,

national parks, military bases around critical infrastructure, around nuclear energy sites. There's a lot of sensitive places where you don't want to have no idea who's there and what they might be doing. And so now that we’ve got a handle on how the pros do drone defense the question you’re probably wondering is how would Mark Rober do drone defense.

I think the answer is, it will probably look something like this a 7 foot tall fully articulated mega turret that fires a 6 shooter barrel worth of preloaded mega darts and so to properly test out how effective this was I called 3 of my engineering buddies who also came up with their own ideas on how they would tackle the problem, and it sort of turned into a 4 person backyard engineering competition. So in addition to my mega turret, their designs might include a fully electrified drone squirt gun a vortex cannon that can do some real damage and even a very scrappy system that does a little of it’s own autonomous drone tracking but for context on our bootstrap engineering showdown It’s important that I first let you know about a super secret project i’ve been working on for over two years because ever since I launched CrunchLabs the biggest piece of feedback was that this was great for kids to have a bunch of fun learning how to create and build but what about something for teenagers and adults? Well, I'm happy to say that starting today, that exists now, and this is it. It's called Hack Pack, and it's basically a series of really fun, programable robots that get delivered right to your door, where we build it together and learn step by step, the kinds of engineering skills that go into making the builds on my channel. And don't be intimidated because all these use a programmable microcontroller as the brain. Because if you can put together a Lego set, you can put together this and it will work right out of the box. No programing required and it will still be really fun.

Heck yeah. Meaning for the first desktop turret robot. It works just like my mega turret, where the IR remote can spin it 360 degrees and you can fire the six shooter barrel worth of pre-loaded darts, either one at a time or rapid fire, after which you just refill the magnetic snap on barrel cartridge. And then for the next box, you'll be building this awesome domino robot that will follow any line you put on the ground and lay down a path of dominoes right on that path, but then it knows to stop for a refill when it runs out.

After that, you've got this oversize custom label maker that works using just a Sharpie and a roll of masking tape, or this beautiful sand garden controlled with a polar gantry. But here's the thing that makes these totally different. And this is the real magic of Hack Pack. You can easily hack the brains of any of these robots in a bunch of ways to completely level up the functionality. So for example, for the desktop turret, you can make it password protected so only you can control it. And if your friend tries and gets it wrong, the robot's going to let him know that.

Or there's a party mode. Sort of like Pie Face, where everyone sits around the table and it will spin around as it terrifyingly plays with your emotions. Or you can hack it. So when your dad turns on the TV, the receiver picks up on that signal and autonomously turns to his chair to unload the full barrel of darts. But there's even hardware hacks, too, so it can continuously scan your office. And if you add a proximity sensor to detect an intruder, it will give them six convincing rapid fire reasons to get the heck out.

So all these cool ideas act as a motivator for you to check out the web-based coding module, where you can plug in your robot brain and make any of these updates. And when you're there, you'll see there's three levels. At level one, the code is fully locked down, and you can only swap out the full code for verified new hacks like the passcode hack.

At level two, you can now change some key variables, like how quickly the barrel turns or how many numbers to put in your passcode lock. And then at level three, you have full access to change everything. And since my goal is to take you from wherever you're currently at and then level you up, there's a community where you can post questions, as well as an AI chat bot named Mark Robot that will check your code for you and help you implement your most creative ideas. And each really slick looking hack pack box that gets delivered to your door not only includes a video from me that shows you how to put it together, but each video also gives you a new juicy nugget about the tools I use to build and code stuff so you can grow your creative engineering brain muscles one step at a time. We put up the lid sticker instruction video for this first box, plus a 20 minute Arduino crash course on the CrunchLabs YouTube channel, so you can see for yourself that we're not cutting any corners.

Just like with my YouTube videos, I love taking complicated things and making them simple. And that's what we've done here. So if you've always wanted to learn to code, this is for you. But if you're a master coder and builder, this is also for you because this is a community. So I'll absolutely be looking for the most impressively ridiculous hacks and modifications.

And then we'll be sure all the other subscribers see them so they can be inspired to make their own hacks. And Hack Pack is a great activity to do with friends and family, or even just by yourself. If you've always wanted to make and build cool stuff, but just haven't figured out that first step. On top of all that, a couple times a year I'll be randomly selecting one box in which I'll place the Platinum Scholarship, and if your box has it, congratulations! Because college is now free for you or a loved one you want to transfer it to. Plus you get to come out the CrunchLabs and brainstorm some of your own ideas with me and my team for a day.

So if you want to embark on this journey of discovery with me, just go to CrunchLabs.com or use the link in the video description. Where to say thank you. We're giving away one free box as an early subscriber special.

We poured our hearts into these for over two years, and I am so confident your brain is going to love them. But supplies are definitely limited on this first run, so if you don't want to miss out, be sure to go check out that link in the video description. And with that, let's get to the competition. Gentlemen. What's the confidence level at? Here? Maybe like here? Can I have a shovel? That's the sound of an engineer who's not got a lot of sleep this week I'm excited to face off my turret versus your turret. Your turret actually shoots things. How do you know what mine is? It's right there. oh. That thing.

It's controllable with the Hack Pack turret remote. No. I’m sorry. Move it that way.

Lucky for the boys. The turret got distracted as the first drone took to the sky, pausing at a height where only a mega turret could possibly bring it down. I could absolutely hit that with a rock. And maybe that's true for the average person, but let's face it none of us are exactly first to be picked in gym class type material.

At any rate, it was time to see what this bad boy could do. Let me line it up. Hold on. Oh, yeah, that's looking good. Three two. One. Ohhhh that was pretty cool. Yeah.

But you missed. Dang it. Oh A little to the right. Fire! Oh! Wow! Oh, this is the one. I can feel it. Three, two. One.

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Wait. Hey! What? The drone recovered from that. That was So cool. That drone is so much more impressive than the turret Lucky for me, the definitely not made up on the spot rules state that if a dart makes contact with the drone, you get one final bonus shot.

Yes! Oh, the mega turret had secured It's dead. A mega hit check it out. You actually did Yeah. bust that off soo Whats up now? Lets see you guys beat this. Huh! Question is, which one of you guys wants to try and top that? Me. Me First up, we've got Kevin.

Where is Kevin? He's uhhh... oh! Yee haw! Woo hoo! Yee haw! Kevin! Yeah, yeah. Coming for your drones. This feels like it's bigger than. Whoa. Necessary.

This is the V rad cannon avian defense turret. Avian defense. So what, you scare birds with that? Yeah, and shoot down drones. This concept was actually invented 200 years ago by farmers shooting it at hail clouds in the sky to try and save their crops.

But then they found a far less speculative application that was just to shoot it towards birds, to scare them away from eating all the seeds in the field. You're going to look so silly if the drone doesn't get shot down with this thing Kevin, giddy up! And when you mix just the right amount of oxygen and propane in the combustion chamber and then give it a spark You basically get a single shot rocket engine Three. Two. One fire! Fire! Wow. Kevin.

Real impressive. ohhh! God! And it absolutely destroyed the drone. Oh, my God, it, like, actually totally died. Wow.

That looked like a really good way to kill a drone. Actually, that was just really good. And that's when we realized it was also a great way to play a certain game called chicken. Bring it on. And if you think for a second we were scared to stand before this gigantic cannon, why are we doing this? You're right. But what's even more scary? Oh Oh Oh Oh my god! wait. thats like a jet flying overhead. Did it hit any of us?

Was doing it over and over again until it found its aim. Oh, my. I wasn’t ready It's coming up towards us.

Oh my gosh. I hope it blows your hat off and we can see what you're hiding under there. Oh, no. Oh,

Earggghhh. It got my head. Oh oh. Oh Oh. It's still going. Oh. It's still going. Oh my god And in our game of chicken, we were definitely prepared to get much closer to the cannon like these guys.

But sadly, we ran out of jet fuel and had to move on. This is my invention. This is a Tesla coil. You know When you rub your feet on a carpet and you get a spark. Yeah, I know it. This is like a billion times more powerful than that, three, two, one Tesla coil? And if it was a contest for coolest visuals Wow! See that's pretty cool, right? Alan definitely would have won right on the spot, but it wasn't. I feel like that's not gonna get a drone

All right, here's my real plan. Salty electrically conductive goo. Is that legal? What in the world is this? So this is Xanthan gum and salt. It should conduct electricity.

That nozzle is going to shoot a stream of goo So when it touches the drone, it's going to fry it. Well, it's just salty protein. Yeah. Yeah! It's thick. It's safe to say I had reservations about pretty much all of this. Tesla coil on. As predicted, the coil on its own had nowhere near the range to hit the drone. Goo stream on. Oh! Oh, wow.

Why is so low? That's no good. And it seemed like the goo wouldn't either. But after a little pressure adjustment, we got the electric goo gun made contact. Oh, now come on.

Oh yes. Yes. And it seemed like Alan had taken it out for good. Whoa oh, It’s still like trying to be alive. There was no way to salvage things here. So sadly... Use your heel mark in one solid hit.

This feels wrong. We had to put the little guy out of his misery. No, Mark! Mark, it’s still twitching I'm so sorry. Goodbye, little fella.

Oh. Oh, no I said good bye. May your microchips forever rest in the watery depths below. And that's how you kill a drone. The light's still on. Oh. All right, Will, I think it's your turn.

It's this. Wait! Throwing in a fog machine. And special effects? I didn't know we could order a fog. But out of the fog. Williams creation gloriously emerged. Sort of. I want you to hold on to that. Wait.

This is the point, I realized. Will's drone. had taken a sudden interest in what I was holding.

It’s looking at you Mark. It’s looking at you I suddenly feel unsafe Run away, Mark. And it was totally tracking me until it wasn’t. I did finish it just 30 minutes ago.

Will had very ambitiously taken the Anduril approach of attempting to actively track the target drone. Ultimately, his hunting drone was using eight overlapping photodetectors to look for a specific IR source on the target drone I was holding, and then it would keep itself oriented in the direction where that signal was the strongest. You have to attach this thing to the target drone for your drone to know where it is. uhh yeah.

I mean, how's it going to take it down? by smashing into it. Let's do it. And this is where Will brought in his secret weapon, Peter Sripol But to be fair, all Peter was actually doing was hitting the gas pedal on the drone at the right time. All the other choices were being made autonomously by the drone itself. Okay, I'm taking off, and then we're going autonomous.

All right. So it's it's hunting. Oh, it's going towards the drone. Run!

Ohh. Oh it missed! Oh boy! it’s coming back Okay. Go! it reminds me of like Toro. Toro.

Ohhh that looked pretty good. But after a series of near misses. yes, the hunter got serious. Oh. Whoa. Nice. Smashing into the drone for the final kill of the night and taking a much deserved victory lap.

round of applause. That was cool. Time to announce the winner of the drone defense derby I get to decide since this is my channel. And honestly, I gotta give this one to William. Yeah. As much as I hate to say it. Oh, I didn’t sleep at all. I deserve it. From an engineering standpoint, it's very, very impressive.

And your prize, you get three Hack Packs. Whoa oh oh. Now you guys can, you know, hone those engineering skills in.

And so if you too want to hone your own engineering skills or heck, even just begin to learn some basic building skills in the easiest way possible while having a ton of fun at the same time. Be sure to check out that link in the video description to CrunchLabs.com to get your free Hack Pack box as the Early Adopter special.

2024-04-23 03:32

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