3D Robotics


From an interview with the Guardian newspaper (UK).  [UPDATE: This is actually a repost from April. Sorry about that!]

The use of cheap, miniature "everyman" drones needs to be banned by international treaties before such devices fall into the hands of private users including terrorists, the head of Google has said.

In an extended interview with the Guardian, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google and an adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign, warned of the potential of new technology to "democratise the ability to fight war", and said drones could soon be used to harass and spy on neighbours.

"You're having a dispute with your neighbour," he hypothesised. "How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their back yard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?"

Schmidt set out the trajectory of robotic warfare and considered whether it would be confined solely to national governments. "It's probable that robotics becomes a significant component of nation state warfare," he said.

"I'm not going to pass judgment on whether armies should exist, but I would prefer to not spread and democratise the ability to fight war to every single human being.

"It's got to be regulated. You just can't imagine that British people would allow this sort of thing, and I can't imagine American people would allow this sort of thing. It's one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they're doing, but have other people doing it … It's not going to happen."

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • IMHO, Google is becoming more and more like Microsoft of the recent past every day.  They wanted control or at least domination of the search engine world and they got it.  They wanted control of the cellphone and tablet OS.  They might have had that if Apple wasn't as strong as they are now.  Ultimately, they just want to expand their empire.  The DIY community is a threat to their pervasiveness.  Go make something.

  • banning any modern technology is pointless 

    everybody can build 3d printer, copter or plane with off-the-shelf parts 

  • Why is he mentioning the British? Sorry - it might not be ideal regulation-wise, but I'm able to fly commercially there...
  • Idiot. Says him while his company spies on us via their search engine. Hence not using anything google!
  • Like the prohibition of alcohol if people really want one/it they will find the ingredients to make it.

    Eric needs to get out of the bubble he is living in and put his feet on the ground and touch terra ferma.

  • What a paranoid knucklehead.

  • How do you ban something that you can build with off-the-shelf parts? It's like banning anything else... all it does is make it illegal to have it; doesn't mean you can't have it or acquire it.

  • I don’t think the world responds kindly to this type of fear tactic. Google are already walking on a thin line and must be careful not to alienate the support and market it lives on. The public at large from LA to Beijing are increasingly tech savvy and resent patronising statements like that. At the Google AirShow  he was riding on the backs brains and  goodwill that he now proposes to suppress. Invention innovation and ingenuity are all parts of something called freedom we all thrive on.

    So “Big Brother” watch out we are watching you !

  • Wise words from a serial adulterer...

    Seriously though...local bylaws in my area pretty much restrict them to private property already.

    Fly in a school field or other city green space and someone usually calls me in.

  • ... say the biggest non-government data collector and privacy violator of them all... This interview has almost satirical value...

    Two "experience reports" on this by me:

This reply was deleted.