Re: ROBOT: Global Hawk Outperforms Charles Lindbergh (by orders of magnitude)

From: Ken Clements (
Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 16:35:46 MDT

> I predict that as soon as practical, all our weapons and
> surveillance systems will be drones with their controllers
> warm and safe at home. spike

N. Tesla predicted that we would see the end of war when all humans were removed
from it, and we became fed up with the cost of replacing the robots. Here are the
last four paragraphs from his autobiography _My Inventions_ (written early in the
last century).


> The next logical improvement was its application to automatic mechanisms beyond the limits of vision and at great distances from the center of
> control, and I have ever since advocated their employment as instruments of warfare in preference to guns. The importance of this now seems to be
> recognized, if I am to judge from casual announcements through the press, of achievements which are said to be extraordinary but contain no merit of
> novelty, whatever. In an imperfect manner it is practicable, with the existing wireless plants, to launch an airplane, have it follow a certain
> approximate course, and perform some operation at a distance of many hundreds of miles. A machine of this kind can also be mechanically controlled
> in several ways and I have no doubt that it may prove of some usefulness in war. But there are to my best knowledge, no instrumentalities in
> existence today with which such an object could be accomplished in a precise manner. I have devoted years of study to this matter and have evolved
> means, making such and greater wonders easily realizable.
> As stated on a previous occasion, when I was a student at college I conceived a flying machine quite unlike the present ones. The underlying principle
> was sound, but could not be carried into practice for want of a prime-mover of sufficiently great activity. In recent years, I have successfully solved
> this problem and am now planning aerial machines *devoid of sustaining planes, ailerons, propellers, and other external* attachments, which will be
> capable of immense speeds and are very likely to furnish powerful arguments for peace in the near future. Such a machine, sustained and propelled
> *entirely by reaction*, is shown on one of the pages of my lectures, and is supposed to be controlled either mechanically, or by wireless energy. By
> installing proper plants, it will be practicable to *project a missile of this kind into the air and drop it* almost on the very spot designated, which may
> be thousands of miles away.
> But we are not going to stop at this. Telautomats will be ultimately produced, capable of acting as if possessed of their own intelligence, and their
> advent will create a revolution. As early as 1898, I proposed to representatives of a large manufacturing concern the construction and public
> exhibition of an automobile carriage which, left to itself, would perform a great variety of operations involving something akin to judgment. But my
> proposal was deemed chimerical at the time and nothing came of it. At present, many of the ablest minds are trying to devise expedients for
> preventing a repetition of the awful conflict which is only theoretically ended and the duration and main issues of which I have correctly predicted in
> an article printed in the SUN of December 20, 1914. The proposed League is not a remedy but, on the contrary, in the opinion of a number of
> competent men, may bring about results just the opposite.
> It is particularly regrettable that a punitive policy was adopted in framing the terms of peace, because a few years hence, it will be possible for
> nations to fight without armies, ships or guns, by weapons far more terrible, to the destructive action and range of which there is virtually no limit.
> Any city, at a distance, whatsoever, from the enemy, can be destroyed by him and no power on earth can stop him from doing so. If we want to avert
> an impending calamity and a state of things which may transform the globe into an inferno, we should push the development of flying machines and
> wireless transmission of energy without an instant's delay and with all the power and resources of the nation.

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