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The blood sport of the future

…Was invented by me today while we ate our supper with the patio doors wide open to admit the glorious sunshine. Unfortunately we also admitted an insanely persistent fly. Somebody really needs to miniaturise yet further a quadrotor, equip it with a little vacuum cleaner sucky mouth and an incinerator inside, fix it up to a remote control system with a joystick and send it out like a tiny hawk to swoop upon the critters and suck them to their fiery doom, preferably with a satisfying actinic flash and a buzz like the noise a lightsabre makes in Star Wars. As a by- product, the chemicals harvested from the flies’ little frazzled bodies could power the “predator drone”, as I think I might call it, unless that name is taken.

This would not be an efficient means of killing flies, nor even of using quadrotors to kill flies. To do that you would have to give the quadrotors echolocation and probably rejig them as Von Neumann machines. Inevitably they would start to evolve independently and develop a taste for human flesh, so perhaps we should stick with having a human at the controls. In future years, when the cry of tally-ho is a familiar refrain at every barbecue and picnic, raise a glass to me and send me some money.

Only it would not actually be a blood sport. Insects do not have blood, they have something called hemolymph sloshing about inside them instead. Not ichor, that was Greek gods and other sundry immortals. Hunting Greek gods with quadrotors doesn’t work, ‘cos they’re immortal.

13 comments to The blood sport of the future

  • Steve M

    Surely the immortality of Greek Gods only makes hunting them more humane? Like fish, you get to throw them back once caught.

  • English people get overly concerned over one fly? I have never been able to understand this.

  • I would buy one of those for every room and probably watch it compulsively as they hunted the little fuckers down 😀

  • Laird

    Inefficient and undoubtedly very expensive. Why not get a simple bug zapper? They attract the insects, rather than having to hunt them down on the fly, and they give a very satisfying crackle when one of the annoying critters meets its doom (which should satisfy your hemolymph-lust). And it seems unlikely they will ever develop a taste for human flesh.

  • Kim du Toit

    Never mind houseflies and imaginary Greek gods. What about using said machines to exterminate actual Greeks? I speak here of the firebombers and looters in Athens in particular.

    Now THAT’S a bloodsport I’d pay to watch.

  • J.M. Heinrichs

    The University of the West of England was working on a similar project they called Ecobot II.


  • Hmm

    Laird no!, don’t look at the light Laird. Don’t look at the light!

  • RAB

    Aww where’s the fun in that?

    When we were kids about 9 or 10, we used to hunt down wasps in my friend’s garden with tennis rackets. One swift forehand smash rips em to shreads. I keep hearing about this delicate balance of nature, but I have never seen the point to wasps. Would the planet be doomed if they went the way of petrodactyls? I think not.

    Course you could always use an old jam jar, cut a small wasp size slit in the lid, put a dollop of jam in the bottom and half fill it with water and half an hour later full of dead or drowning wasps. Hands free, fire and forget and odourless to boot. But like I said, where’s the fun in that?

  • JDN

    There are already machines, invented long ago, for killing flies and using them as fuel. They’re even self-replicating and require no pilot. I don’t believe that birds have a taste for human flesh, but they do tend to crap all over indiscriminately, so not really the best for indoors.

    Along the same lines however, I do have friends living in a tropical country who allow geckos free run of the house to do pest control. I was also there advised to ignore spiders that make sport of hunting cockroaches. Or so I was told. Luckily I didn’t see any.

  • GW

    Don’t know about calling them Predator drones, but if one had a few of these machines going at once they would of course be your own personal Swat Team.

  • Mike James

    Equip the drone with a laser powerful enough to burn through the fly’s thorax, as long as you’re going to load a power source to power a vacuum and incinerator. Lose the vacuum and incinerator. Leave the fly-killing laser. Don’t forget a gunnery pipper for the on-board camera, and a way to boresight it with what I have decided shall be called the “flazer”.

    I don’t know if you will sell every one you make–you will certainly sell one to me.

  • Surellin

    Mike, I scrolled through all the comments only to find that you had ALREADY suggested the laser. Good work, sir.

  • Mike James

    Surellin, thank you, perhaps we are evil twins who were separated at birth. You might be interested in this:

    Potential additional targets for the Flaser?(Link)

    Found here.(Link)