CUPID hexacopter delivers 80,000 volt shock to drone debate


March 15, 2014

Chaotic Moon's CUPID is a drone that can taser people with an 80,000 volt shock

Chaotic Moon's CUPID is a drone that can taser people with an 80,000 volt shock

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Last week, at SXSW, creative tech studio Chaotic Moon demonstrated CUPID, a drone equipped with an stun gun that can incapacitate people with an 80,000 volt shock. The brave intern used as a guinea pig can no doubt testify to its effectiveness. The studio says the exercise was aimed at raising awareness of the extent to which technology is outpacing our ability to regulate and live with it.

Speaking to Gizmag, William Hurley, chief innovation officer at Chaotic Moon, said that it's important to get people thinking about the social impact of tech developments like CUPID. "Just because we can do it, doesn't mean we should," contends Hurley. "CUPID itself is only a demonstration to start a dialogue on the future of drone tech. We can do more with it today than people think is possible."

Hurley points out that drone technology is not inherently good or bad and that there are plenty of positive applications for UAVs, such as search and rescue or delivery. The point is that we need to understand the potential impacts and consequences for society.

CUPID (an acronym for “chaotic unmanned personal intercept drone") took a part-time team around 2-3 weeks to build. Chris Boyles of Chaotic Moon explains that, although the project did take some time, it was not especially difficult. "Some of the biggest challenges came from modifying the drone for our demos," he explains. "We had to make sure we could safely demonstrate it in an enclosed space. That meant overriding the drone's abilities to fly autonomously – instead, one of our employees had to learn how to fly it."

Boyles also explains that the team had to modify the charge on the stun gun to lower its voltage and decrease the stun length. Even still, CUPID still packs a serious punch and, with this in mind, he points out that the decision was made very early on not to release any technical details of the drone. "This is the complete opposite of our usual behavior, which is to open source projects like these," he says.

According to Boyles, and rather unsurprisingly, the project has generated a great deal of interest. The reaction has generally been positive and one of enthusiasm for the technology. The biggest negative reaction, he says, has been from people who think CUPID will be made commercially available. "That couldn't be farther from the truth," Boyles says. "Your neighbor won't be getting his hands on one of these."

The video below shows CUPID in action.

Source: Chaotic Moon

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds. All articles by Stu Robarts

rc helicopter they have been around for 30 years now and no one worries about them. here is somethig to worrie about and its an old video 2006 by the looks of it


Weaponized personal drones were inevitable. Today tasers, tomorrow missiles, machine guns and flame throwers.


Yeah, it kind of reminds me of the people who mounted BB guns in their model boats and planes about, hmmm... I'd say 40 years ago.

Anne Ominous

Two steps back for the Multi-rotor community because of this video. Also I believe in full that weaponization of such vehicles should be punishable by law.

Chantry Holdman

I love the comment about your neighbors wont be getting their hands on one, in America where tasers are legal almost anyone could put something like this together easily.

Gary Bonney

Attach a 3D printed gun to one of these.

Do it Chaotic Moon. That's sure to get you some more attention. ;-)

and Gary: You give the general population way too much credit when you say almost anyone can put one of these together. What you are looking at in this article is a product that was "put together" by a team of designers / engineers. Grab anyone off the street and I think you would be hard-pressed to find 1 in 1000 people that posses the skills and determination required to complete a project like this. I can only hope anyone with enough intelligence to build one also possess enough intelligence to know not to go flying it around in public places.


oh good god, everyone over reacts, to this type of thing. 1, you will never see this in use by anyone, because its not practical 2. let me toss my coat on it, i don't need a microwave gun. 3, have you watched the video??? the copter its self almost hit the guy, and he had to be perfectly still to get hit from what 7 ft by the tazer... 4. even though the FAA now has to allow commercial drone use. this type of thing will NOT fall under that category and will never be deployed

also tazers are not that effective if you wear thick clothes, or take lots of drugs. i can see the youtube video going viral of some meth head running down the street. This thing attached to him by the little wires the darts use to deliver to 50,000 volts to you, yelling "DON'T TAZE ME" as he takes their 30,000$ drone for a "Nantucket Sleigh ride" for the evening news services. trust me i am one of the 1 in 1000 people that build and fly these aircraft, and this is a complete fantasy for the designers, and they know it. it looks moor like a attempt to get a grant from DARPA, so the guys designing it can play video games all day and not get a real job


I wonder how their weaponized drone would respond to a 2500 watt 2.5 GHz directed microwave beam delivered from a commercial microwave oven magnetron fitted inside a steel pipe to allow aiming? I'm pretty sure a 100 watt infrared coherent laser beam module from eBay would fry the video gear on board as easily as it would the retinas of whoever was piloting it if you had a line of sight to them as well. A 50 watt spread spectrum jamming transmitter that sweeps the entire frequency range allocated to remote controlled aircraft! RC toys would come raining down from the sky for a 10 mile radius though on that one... Then there's always the tried and true semi automatic shotgun with buckshot. It is going to be cool to see all the anti drone technologies popping up in garages world wide to counter the latest drone fad. Counter drones that trail nylon nets to tangle their props. Coils of 1" copper tubing fixed to a parabolic reflector having a few KJ of energy dumped into it through 000 service entrance wire and DIY storage capacitors made from 55 gallon poly drums triggered by a relay of sorts designed with 2" square solid brass contacts and matching contact bar to dump 3 bucks worth of electricity into the coil in a millisecond or so. Make sure you leave your iPhone home before you field test one of those!


Invent things that are fun, unless you are a psycho that has fun hurting and killing.


all non sense, a simple net gun destroys them in a flash, now used to capture birds , drones next

science ninja
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