CUPID Flying Taser Drone Live Test - shocking an intern with 80,000 volts
CUPID Flying Taser Drone Live Test - shocking an intern with 80,000 voltsYouTube

If you thought that Tasers, or rather stun guns, were bad enough, how about a flying drone controlled by a smartphone app that hovers while shooting 80,000-volt barbed wire darts at targets?

At the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, mobile software firm Chaotic Moon (famed for Oculus Rift virtual reality game SharkPunch) has demonstrated a new drone that can do just that.

The Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone (CUPID) is a prototype stun copter which is based on a Tarot Hexacopter, a remote-controlled flying drone that was originally designed to carry a digital SLR camera for video and aerial photo shoots.

If you imagine what a regular stun gun with a voltage of 50,000 volts can do, just think what 80,000 volts would be like in the hands of the police, for example during a standoff with protesters. If you can't imagine it, check out the company's video of its live trial where Chaotic Moon intern Jackson Sheehan takes one for the team:

Although the Taser attack in the video took only five seconds and was only deployed once, as mandated by the company's lawyer for safety reasons, the drone is designed to repeatedly stun people in up to 10 second boosts once an alarm is triggered.

"It can find a subject and send live video to the owner's phone and ask if you want to authorise the subject or detain them," Chaotic Moon said.

"If you detain them, it drops into fully autonomous mode to detain them until police arrive, if need be stunning them with 80,000 volts of electricity to render them incapacitated."

Due to legal requirements in the US, the drone cannot be operated by just one person.

Instead, one individual pilots the craft, with an embedded camera in the drone broadcasting a live video feed back to the drone operators for them to gauge the situation. If it is decided that the stun gun is required, the laser sight locks onto the target and a second individual has to trigger the Taser darts remotely, while the pilot keeps the drone hovering.

The company has not indicated if or when the device will be launched commercially, but in recent months, flying drones have become a hot topic, with Amazon testing out unmanned "Prime Air" drones to deliver packages within 30 minutes and helicopter drones being used in Canada to deliver contraband and drugs to prison inmates.