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IPhone app pilots drone aircraft from 3,000 miles away [Video]

September 27, 2011 |  9:49 am


Military mobile apps may one day help soldiers wage war on the battlefield.

Engineers and researchers at Boeing Co. and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed an iPhone application to fly a miniature drone aircraft from some 3,000 miles away.

Take a look at the video below. It just takes a few taps and swipes of the operator’s finger sitting in Seattle to make a drone at a baseball field on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass., start to hover, rotate and zip around.

“These applications could allow [drones] to be used more effectively for tasks that are dirty or dangerous, as well as for missions that may be too long and tedious to have a human be continuously at the controls,” the company said on its website.

As we reported in Monday’s Times, the Pentagon is testing all manner of smart devices, including iPhones and iPads, for action in the war zone. It has kicked off a race among software companies and defense firms to develop innovative apps for future soldiers to operate.



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-- W.J. Hennigan

Photo: A controller uses an iPhone to fly miniature unmanned aircraft. Credit: Boeing Co. / Massachusetts Institute of Technology