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Weapons company BAE wants to ‘grow’ war drones in chemical baths

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David Cornish
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We're not making this up. We wish we were. It would see us chuckle as we went to our beds at night, rather than cower under the covers at what this world is actually capable of.

Scientists and engineers from BAE Systems (that bunch that make all the war stuff) and the University of Glasgow believe future generations of unmanned war drones "could be 'grown' in large-scale labs through chemistry, speeding up evolutionary processes and creating bespoke aircraft in weeks, rather than years."

Further proof that someone in the BAE offices has been reading a few too many Philip K Dick novels, the proposed system is described as a 'Chemputer'. Here's how the BAE website outlines their nightmarish vision:

"A radical new machine called a Chemputer could enable advanced chemical processes to grow aircraft and some of their complex electronic systems, conceivably from a molecular level upwards.

"This unique UK technology could use environmentally sustainable materials [oh good, it's green] and support military operations where a multitude of small UAVs with a combination of technologies serving a specific purpose might be needed quickly."

Here's what it would look like...

"This is a very exciting time in the development of chemistry," said Regius Professor Lee Cronin at the University of Glasgow, with a big drone gun pointed at the back of his head. Probably.

"We have been developing routes to digitize synthetic and materials chemistry and at some point in the future hope to assemble complex objects in a machine from the bottom up, or with minimal human assistance. Creating small aircraft would be very challenging but I’m confident that creative thinking and convergent digital technologies will eventually lead to the digital programming of complex chemical and material systems."

Because if anything is going to stabilise global economies and further scientific and technological endeavours, it's going to be a big robotic war.

We wish we were joking.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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