File-sharing Drone Fleet Forms Flying Mesh Network [Video]

March 22, 2012 | 03:30
File-sharing Drone Fleet Forms Flying Mesh Network [Video]
File-sharing Drone Fleet Forms Flying Mesh Network [Video]
Project Electronic Countermeasures has created a swarm of autonomous drones which hover over the city to provide a local autonomous WIFI network.

Earlier this week The Pirate Bay announced it will experiment with sending out small drones to serve as Low Orbit Server Stations. In a next step in the cat and mouse game between the most resilient bittorrent site and those opposing the file-sharing age, TPB is looking to get its machines of land and into the air to make raiding their servers even more difficult. The idea got a lot of attention but was generally considered too far out, even for TPB.

But not to Liam Young of the London-based think tank called Tomorrows Thoughts Today. He and his fellows already built an airborne pirate internet, TorrentFreak reported.

Inspired by the notion that human interaction in cities is decreasingly dependent on permanent infrastructure like streets and squares and is moving into the virtual plain of digital networks, the team developed the drones. On the one hand they want to visualize digital human interaction. As the drones hover above a crowd they light up and break formation when they relay data creating a dance of light and movement. But the mesh network also has a darker inspiration, serving as a fail safe for kill-switching the internet as happened in 2011 during the Egyptian uprising.

“We have built a flock of GPS enabled quadcopter drones from components that were originally intended for aerial reconnaissance and police surveillance to create this flying pirate file sharing network. The drones are autonomous and drift above the public spaces of the city as a balletic interactive aerial choreography. Part nomadic infrastructure and part robotic swarm we have rebuilt and programmed the drones to broadcast their own local wifi network as a form of aerial Napster. They swarm into formation, broadcasting their pirate network, and then disperse, escaping detection, only to reform elsewhere”, writes Young on the Tomorrows Thoughts Today site.

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