Crowds of protesters could soon come under attack from riot control drones outfitted with paintball guns, strobe lights, and speakers. The Skunk Riot Control Copter, built by South African company Desert Wolf, has a suite of cameras and four paintball guns strapped to its chassis to help its operators monitor and control unruly crowds. The guns can fire ammunition from four different hoppers, meaning the drone operators can shoot protesters with dye markers, solid plastic pellets, or small capsules of pepper spray.
If you’re curious about the company’s roots in South Africa, it is no coincidence: the folks working for Desert Wolf have come straight out of the former regime’s efforts to squash the anti-apartheid movement.
According to Defence Web, the full drone system includes a high definition and thermal vision cameras.The drone requires two people to control: a pilot, and a payload operator to control the drone’s suite of weaponry.The first run of the drones are to be deployed to the mines in South Africa, where workers have been protesting and engaged in lengthy strikes.Corporate mine owners hope that the drones will squash resistance and disperse angry protestors who want fair wages and safer working conditions.