Meet the Skunk, a heavy-duty, semi-autonomous octocopter drone that can unleash pepper spray, plastic bullets, paintballs, strobe lights and “blinding” lasers, as well as a cacophony of audio in its mission to persuade unruly mobs to disperse. Unveiled at the IFSEC International trade show in London this week, the Skunk is now for sale—and its manufacturer says the orders have begun to roll in.
Armed with four hopper-fed pneumatic “markers”—high-pressure carbon-fiber airguns capable of pumping out up to 20 paintballs, pepper-spray capsules, or similarly sized projectiles per second—the Skunk has a potential combined rate of fire of 80 projectiles per second. The Skunk can carry up to 4,000 projectiles in varying mixes. According to marketing materials by the unmanned aircraft’s manufacturer, South Africa-based Desert Wolf, the highest rate of fire “will only be used in an extreme ‘Life threatening situation.'”
The Skunk is also equipped with FLIR thermal infrared and HD color cameras to capture the identity of those in a crowd to be controlled. Through its link back to the operator, the aircraft can broadcast audio warnings and instructions to the crowd… such as, possibly, “You now have 20 seconds to comply.”
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