In 2015, a Connecticut teenager raised the question of whether our robots have the right to bear arms when he jury-rigged a working flamethrower — and separately, a semiautomatic pistol — to his drone.
But this Thursday, for better or worse, you’ll be able to easily build a flying flamethrower yourself. You’re looking at a the Throwflame TF-19 Wasp, a functional flamethrower attachment for commercial-grade heavy lift drones that can hit targets up to 25 feet away, with a one-gallon fuel tank that can produce a stream of fire for 100 seconds, according to the company.
Mind you, the $1,499 price for the flamethrower won’t get it up in the sky, as you’ll need to provide the drone, too — which you may need to piece together since commercial drones are often modular, and don’t include things like flight controllers in the box.
Throwflame tells The Verge that its video features a DJI S1000 drone with an A2 flight controller, 6S 16,000mAh LiPo battery and a TBS Tango R/C remote, which — checks notes — could easily add another $2,600 to the cost. (You can also see a GoPro-like camera on top.) The company says it’s also offering custom-built turnkey drones, though, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 and up, depending on how far and fast it needs to fly and what kind of image you expect it to beam home.
Why would you genuinely need such a thing? Well, there was that one example where a flamethrower drone was used to clear power lines in China… and the company suggests it can be used for controlled grass burns, and to destroy wasp nests, as a couple of examples.
The company says the flamethrower attachment will go on sale this Thursday. Like Boing Boing’s David Pescovitz says, “What could possibly go wrong?”