The United States military is using 3D printing and off the shelf components to build “swarm drones” that can be deployed from the flare dispenser of a jet fighter. These drones, code named “Perdix” are built from commercially available electronics that are then put into a 3D printed fuselage. The purpose of the Perdix drones is more surveillance than attack.
“We designed Perdix to move quickly and to deal with weather, also to deal with temperature, and that’s really not something a hobbyist is paying for in a UAV,” said Will Roper, director of the SCO (Strategic Capabilities Office). “They probably don’t need something that works at minus-40. So we can’t go buy a UAV off a shelf, shove it in a flare dispenser, and hit the button and have it work. But what’s great and amazing is that every single piece of Perdix has a part number. You could go order it and build one.”
The SCO is working on fast development and improvement with new features coming out monthly. To learn more and see a video of the Perdix in action, check out this article.