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"I can't tell whether or not there's going to be a Singularity. I don't really believe the rapture of the nerds stereotype..."
- Charles Stross

Parent Drone  
  A drone platform that launches smaller drones.  

So the parent drone carries a spotter that it launches to confirm the presence of the target. The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face - probably uses a cheap pocket camera face-detection chip to make a list of human faces that it compares with target photos...

Once the target is confirmed, it uses an IR laser to send a coded signal back to the parent, clearing it to attack.

From Kill Decision, by Daniel Suarez.
Published by Penguin in 2012
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  More Ideas and Technology from Kill Decision
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Parent Drone-related news articles:
  - DARPA Wants Airborne Launch Facility For Drones

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