Militär
2.5.2024
2
min Lesezeit

Swiss companies develop inexpensive software for kamikaze drones

The development of self-flying drones is progressing and offers both positive and negative prospects. A company with roots in Zurich has developed software that enables drones to fly autonomously, even if communication with the pilot is interrupted. This opens up new opportunities, but also involves risks.

The company Auterion, founded in 2008 at ETH, has already achieved international recognition with its PX4 operating system. Their technology is used all over the world and is also used by military organizations such as the Israeli Army. Modules that can fly with PX4 or its predecessor Pixhawk are available from as little as 100 euros.

The software is open source, which means that the code is freely available. This has both positive and negative effects. While the development and adaptation of the technology is being promoted by thousands of developers worldwide, there are also concerns about misuse by criminal organizations or governments.

ETH, where the technology was developed, distances itself from using the software for military purposes, but at the same time stresses that it cannot control how the technology is ultimately used. Seco, responsible for export controls, does not initially regard the software as war material, but software that can be used for war purposes falls under the Federal Council's export bans.

It remains to be seen how the situation will develop and to what extent regulations will be introduced to ensure the correct use of this technology. As the country of origin of this software, Switzerland is facing ethical and legal challenges that need to be solved.

Source: SRF Swiss Radio and Television, branch of the Swiss Radio and Television Company.

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