Joshua Marpet models the 37mm flare launcher used to send off his wireless spy camera. These devices are used to shoot off flares, and are legal for use in the U.S., even though they're pretty darned similar to 40mm grenade launchers.

Ahhhhh … I don’t think so. But it’s an idea.

Meet the Firefly.

Israeli defense contractor Rafael Armament Development Authority calls it a “revolutionary concept in tactical intelligence,” but really it’s a wireless camera that’s shot 500 feet in the air by a grenade launcher. And if a couple of hackers here at the Defcon hacking convention get their way, soon anyone will be able to buy this type of military grade technology for only US$500.

The Firefly can make the difference between life or death on the battlefield. Soldiers shoot it off and for eight glorious seconds it gives them a bird’s eye view of the terrain around them, tipping them off to enemy positions. Then it crashes back to earth.

Private citizens can’t buy these flying cameras, much less the 40mm grenade launchers used to shoot them. But Vlad Gostom and Joshua Marpet think they’d be great tools for a search and rescue operation, or maybe a boon to some local police force’s SWAT (special weapons and tactics) team. So they’re building their own version and showing off what they’ve learned at Defcon this week.

Read more at this link.

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