Tech’s Most Controversial Startup Makes Drone-Killing Robots

Tech’s Most Controversial Startup Makes Drone-Killing Robots


This is the Interceptor. It’s the creation of Palmer Luckey, who might be the world’s
most unlikely weapons mogul. He’s the founder of a multibillion dollar, virtual reality company. He’s also a polarizing
figure in Silicon Valley, known for his support of
the Trump administration, including immigration
policies that opponents of the White House have branded
as cruel, and even racist. My name is Palmer Luckey, and
I’m the founder of Anduril. I wanna build a big company. I wanna build a company that’s
worth billions of dollars. I wanna become one of the
major defense contractors, that’s building technology for
the United States government. And I’m proud to say that,
I’m happy to say that, and I hope we get there. At his previous company, the virtual reality
headset maker, Oculus Rift, Luckey had the idea to build
a futuristic consumer device, combining low cost components
with sophisticated software. He sold Oculus to Facebook
for about $2 billion in 2014. Two years later, just a month before the
2016 presidential election, The Daily Beast reported
he’d given $10,000 to a group of Trump supporters, to fund billboards
featuring insulting messages about Hillary Clinton. In 2017, Facebook announced that Luckey was no longer an employee. I was fired. We can all be honest about it. It became the rare HR decision to make it into a congressional hearing. CEO, have you ever made hiring or firing decisions based
on political positions, or what candidates they supported? No Why was Palmer Luckey fired? That is a specific personnel matter that seems like it would
be inappropriate to speak– You just made a specific representation that you didn’t make decisions
based on political views. Is that accurate?
Well, I can commit that it was not because
of a political view. Anduril has followed
Luckey’s Oculus playbook, using off-the-shelf components, in an industry much more
suited to his politics. Over the course of a few
months, earlier this year, the company built a cheap
version of its drone, made a smartphone video, and started showing it to
people at the Pentagon. It’s a little crazy, but I think that is definitely
the way that it’s going. I mean, all these other
systems, like, where they, there are people who
propose shooting drones out of the sky with a
laser, or with a missile, or you know, that’s not
really a good way to take out, let’s say, a hundred drones that are attacking you from
all different directions. The only thing that can take
out a swarm of fast drones, is a bigger swarm of faster drones, and that’s exactly what we’re building. Here’s some Interceptors. This one has a experimental
parachute release mechanism. So that the idea is, after
it runs into something, if it really destroys it drive train, rather than falling to the ground, it can pop a parachute and
fall to the ground safely. Pops this thing, pops open,
and there’s the parachute. I think that’s one of the reasons that our customers like us so much. I mean, they’re used to going
to people who have like, here’s this white paper. Here’s this idea that we have. We want you to pay us by the hour, so that we can research it, and figure out if it makes sense. And if it does, you’ll pay
us by the hour to make it. And then, if it doesn’t, you’ll
pay us until it does work. And we’re going to them and saying “We do this ourselves,
we used our own money, “we got it done in a matter
of weeks, and here it is.” Anduril has shipped several hundred Interceptors
to military bases. It also has contracts with the US Customs and
Border Protection agency, to provide surveillance equipment to use at the border with Mexico. Workers at other tech companies, such as Google, Microsoft,
Amazon, and Palantir, have all objected to doing similar work, leading to protests by the
employees and activists. Luckey insists that Anduril’s
work isn’t partisan. There’s a lot of people who, I think, falsely conflate border security with immigration policy. And, I don’t care what you
believe on immigration policy, even if you want to have
totally open immigration. Anyone can come into the United States and instantly become a citizen. You should still want to
have strong border security. The company’s surveillance technology consists of large towers,
packed with sensors, and small surveillance drones
that can be set up along the border, or at military
bases, to guard the perimeter. So, this is one of our sentry towers, it is a totally autonomous,
solar powered infrastructure, independent security tower. So, by placing these
towers every few miles, you can end up with a
nearly perfect picture of everything that’s going
on in a really large area. And then that is very easy
for an operator to read. These are being used right now by the DOD, by the Department of Homeland Security, along military bases, the border, and a lot of other
critical infrastructure. Anduril’s future success relies largely on the military’s continued concern that the US could lose
to China in an arms race based on artificial intelligence. Our technology is far behind the consumer area in many places. And we’re also far behind our adversaries in a lot of places. People should be more
worried than they are, about falling behind, ’cause it’s not something
that’s gonna happen someday. It’s already happened. Critics say, technologists, like Luckey, have an ethical duty to stay
out of the weapons business. But neither the military,
nor Anduril’s investors share their concerns. The company recently raised a
$120 million investment round, valuing it at about $1 billion.

100 thoughts on “Tech’s Most Controversial Startup Makes Drone-Killing Robots”

  1. I'm no Trump supporter but isn't it immoral to fire someone based on their political views? Does it really matter if he's doing a good job?

  2. It's interesting in the English language when the guy says "You should want…"
    Is he saying to EU members that they should want strong border security?

    I know that's not the case. He just sees his backyard.

  3. I like him…his practice! Trump is a racist but investing in defence tech is key to being/staying dominate in this fast changing world.

  4. Seems he tries to behave like Toni Stark 🙂 May be he thinks he is modern Toni Stark, who knows…LOL!!!)))

  5. it is u that build 'destroyer' drone. others dont have destructive ability in their drone.
    i sense bad vibe from u. i think ur the bad guy.

  6. The guy is clearly a psychopath. Notice there is no issues of what he is doing being used to kill people… none what so ever… he just wants his billions and want's to be part of the military industrial complex. It's psychopaths like this that destroy humanity. Rather than building something useful like using the drones in a productive way to help humanity he wants to use them to destroy! Millions are like this guy… total psychotics… and the government loves them.

    You can bet he imagines his drones kill people at night right before he masturbates off to his US flag.

  7. Ok I'm pretty sure a bigger faster swarm of drones is not the only way of combatting a swarm of drones… Also lasers seem like a far better method

  8. The funny thing about superhero stories is that villains really do exist. There will be no superhero to stop this dude.

  9. Him liking Trump has nothing to do with this product, I couldn’t disagree more with this bias excuse of a video that you’re calling journalism… you’re a joke Bloomberg

  10. he sounds like a bit foolish. He is trying to become bad Tony stark with a bit of "Syndrome" from incredible. he should be using technology to make the world a better place instead of making the weapon like thing.

  11. Ha , I don't think smart people in silicon valley will work for this duche bag. He is going to be history soon.

  12. He stole the code and technology know-how from zenimax. only in american where a dropout thug can get away wih espionage.

  13. I understand what he thinks he is doing? Just like I understand what the creators of the atomic bomb thought they were doing? This has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with him being a dickhead.
    Note: he is wrong about a fast drone is the only thing that can take out another drone. If this was the case, duck hunting season would have no ducks killed. And that is just a dude with a gun.
    Radar tracking targets, wide dispersion ammunition, lots of it, Radar tracked ammunition and proximity explosive rounds. All done. This is just anti-aircraft 101.

  14. Lucky was fired because he is smarter than Zuckerberg and has more business acumen. Along with a more human like qualities when compared with other facebook employees

  15. This guy probably thinks he's real life Iron man ..but let me be the first to burst his bubble …You are nothing but a phoney

  16. Fuck yeah this guy is awesome can you make something to kill antifa members maybe something like BattleBots but something you could really send into a protest and cause some serious damage thanks

  17. Great! Now we have another civilian technology turn into a killing machine! AI now will be used to abused human rights and made legal by military!

    Once you start to make killer drones, others will also be making it, and they all will be racing to make Al killing machine! We will all be having killer drones fly above to headshot us, and maybe in future drones that can dog-fight to kill each other!

    So wonderful!… 😒

  18. Those Silicon Valley guys are so strung out on cocaine, modafinil, and bulletproof coffee – I don’t think they even know what’s going on at this point.

  19. What is this introduction though??? Palmer Luckey is presented as some controversial guy, owner of a small start up, as if he hadn't achieved much and was still getting on his feet, just to then show that he created Oculus. Oculus isn't a big deal? Oh and then later on we're told the company is worth about a billion dollars.

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