On Tuesday, the American Department of Defence published video of fighter jets releasing a swarm of Perdrix drones during a military exercise in October. The entire operation likely cost millions of dollars, but hilariously resembles a couple of giant metal birds pooping a flock of screaming, tiny birds mid-flight.
The Perdix drones, designed by MIT students then licensed for military use in 2013, only have a wingspan of only about a foot, and are perfect for a modern re-creation of that scene from The Birds. Or, surveilling enemy aircraft.
Image Source: Department of Defense
Interestingly, the drones were actually developed to act like birds.
“Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronised individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” William Roper, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office, told the BBC.
“Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team,” added Roper.
Here’s the full video of the test, and here’s a rip of the audio. Take note of the hideous, eldritch echo of dozens of drones being poo-birthed into the air at once.