Hey everyone, welcome back to Bionic Bug podcast! You’re listening to episode 11. This is your host Natasha Bajema, fiction author, futurist, and national security expert. I’m recording this episode on July 1, 2018.
I have a quick personal update. Today, I will be finishing the third draft of Project Gecko, Book Two in the Lara Kingsley Series. Next week, I’ll read through it a few times and then send it off to my line editor. That means we’re getting closer to its release in September.
If you’re enjoying the show, please leave a review on iTunes. You can also support my time and costs of producing in show for only a few dollars a month, please go to www.patreon.com– p a t r e o n / natashabajema
Let’s talk tech.
- “FLIR set to develop small surveillance drones for the US Army”
- Published on June 27 at dronedj.com
- A company called FLIR is developing the Black Hornet 3 nano-drone for use by the U.S. Army. These tiny drones will provide real-time intelligence of their surroundings on the ground. This is especially important for units which don’t have aerial support and/or a satellite connection
- It’s so small it can fit in the palm of your hand
- Weight: 32 grams
- Range: 1.25 miles (2km)
- Speed: 13 mph (21 km/h)
- Onboard GPS
- Onboard navigation system
- FLIR thermal microcamera built-in
- This kind of development is what inspired Bionic Bug. And this is only the beginning. We’re entering an era of miniature robotics, not just flight-controlled insects as in Bionic Bug, but also tiny drones, capable of surveillance and much more.
- Advancements in materials, sensors, microelectronics and batteries will allow engineers to pack more capabilities onto smaller platforms.
- “Power-multiplying exoskeletons are slimming down for use on the battlefield”
- Published on June 28 in Popular Science
- Ever dreamed of having the strength of Iron Man? Your dreams may come true soon for soldiers on the battlefield
- Or maybe you just wish you had a third arm to carry stuff
- Exoskeletons are becoming less bulky and more powerful.
- The S. Army Research Laboratory is working on developing a third arm for soldiers to carry and support their weapons. It stabilizes rifles, improving shooting accuracy and minimizing fatigue.
- Lockheed Martin has recently unveiled an exoskeleton which is a form-fitting suit that looks like a series of athletic braces, designed to reduce the effort soldier’s need for walking, running, and climbing over varied terrain while carrying a heavy loads of up to 100 pounds.
- I’m fascinated by these developments and they have inspired much of the storyline in Project Gecko.
Let’s turn to Bionic Bug. Last week, Lara learned more about KillerBot and received another strange note demanding that she meet someone at the National Cryptologic Museum. Will she check it out? Let’s find out.
Okay, let’s go behind the scenes.
- In my real job, I often get to visit places that most people don’t have access to. And that includes the National Security Agency. I’ve visited the NSA twice and learned about the work they do there, most of which I can’t tell you or I’d have to kill you. Womp, womp.
- I’ve also visited the National Cryptologic Museum, which is open to the public. And I recommend a visit if you have time. They have one of the Enigma machines on display.
- As authors, sometimes we incorporate stories from our personal lives into our books. In Chapter 11, I mention Lara accidentally bringing a USB into the NSA and having security discover it in her bag. Welp, that was me. I had forgotten all about a tiny USB drive in a pocket in my purse. To my embarrassment, security personnel detected it upon screening, and I got some uncomfortable stares.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.