The Inbound, Controlled, Air-Releasable, Unrecoverable Systems (ICARUS) project is a DARPA initiative that aims to develop very small, unmanned, single-use air vehicles -- that are completely unpowered -- that can easily be dropped from aircraft to deliver supplies to isolated locations, before self-destructing and disappearing once their job is done.
DARPA being DARPA, the ICARUS project is obviously in existence only because it has interesting military applications. However, it could also be used in other environments and contexts, to deliver food and medicine to communities that have been struck by epidemics or natural disaster. Whatever the environment, the drones would be able to drop their supplies before self-destructing.
The self-destructing mechanism has the obvious advantage of ensuring that the drone technologies do not end up in enemy hands, but they could also reduce costs -- by getting rid of the need to disassemble the drone and bring it back home -- and environmental problems
Self-Destructing Delivery Drones
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