OWS Invests In Unmanned Surveillance Drone Dubbed The ‘Occucopter’
For years we’ve seen images of the military’s unmanned aerial vehicles aiding soldiers in combat zones, and their evolution from surveillance tools to the heavily weaponized Predator drones. Now, the Guardian reports, Occupy Wall Street livestreamer Tim Pool hopes to use that technology as an additional set of eyes on the police department.
Tim Pool, an Occupy Wall Street protester, has acquired a Parrot AR drone he amusingly calls the “occucopter”. It is a lightweight four-rotor helicopter that you can buy cheaply on Amazon and control with your iPhone. It has an onboard camera so that you can view everything on your phone that it points at. Pool has modified the software to stream live video to the internet so that we can watch the action as it unfolds.
The Occucopter comes in response to police departments, across the country, stepping up efforts to prevent their actions from being recorded. Some have started covering up their names and badge numbers. Others attempt to stand in the way of recording devices, or declare “frozen zones” that are off limits to even the most credentialed reporters. Tim hopes that the Occucopter will allow protesters to monitor the police, and record any cases of brutality that may have otherwise remained undocumented.
In addition to modifying the Parrot’s software for internet livestreaming, Pool is also currently working on modifying the software for multiple controllers. He even hopes to add 3G functionality, so that even protesters and supporters outside of New York could aid in the monitoring process. When asked about his plans by the Guardian, he explained:
We are trying to get a stable live feed so you can have 50 people controlling it in series. If the cops see you controlling it from a computer they can shut you down, but then control could automatically switch to someone else.
Now you, much like myself, might find yourself wondering, “Isn’t he concerned that some officer(s) will just shoot it down?”
No…They can’t just fire a weapon in the air because it could seriously hurt someone. They would have no excuse because the occucopter is strictly not illegal. Their only recourse would be to make it illegal, but it is only a toy
So it would appear that we finally have an answer to a twenty five year old question. Tim Pool is watching the watchmen.
And doing a damn good job of it.
(images courtesy of Time/iPhoneZA/GeekAlerts)