Man arms DIY drone with paintball handgun and shoots human cardboard cutouts

Milo Danger says:

Drones aren't just for the military and government anymore - regular citizens and makers are embracing drones at an amazing rate and creating some very interesting uses for this rapidly developing technology. Milo Danger designs, builds, flies & shoots an armed drone to determine just how safe - or dangerous - these machines are in the hands of a novice flyer.


  1. You could put this gizmo to good use on all those surveillance cameras mounted on poles in every major city. 

  2. I have a thought. Combine drones with that DIY auto turret tech and you could have fully autonomous hunter-killer drones.

    All of the lethality and none of the remorse! Hooray!

    1. I would mount a paintball gun to this and send it after you.

  3. Not a drone. Under the strictest definition of drone, it isn’t, since it is flown under the control of a human operator.

  4.  Not at all. Many US Military drones have a human operator. They just aren’t INSIDE the thing.

    A “Drone” in this case is an unmanned aerial vehicle.This is most certainly, a drone.

  5. It would be cool if you could give it real ammo.  And fully autonomous AI. And the ability to self-replicate.

  6. People have been flying small remotely-piloted aircraft – fixed wing props and jets and a wide variety of standard and exotic rotorcraft – for many, many years.

    Ah, but now that they’re “DIY Drones” (oooh!) they’re an exciting! new! technology –  no longer JUST for military and government! – being “rapidly embraced!” (Careful there – it’s all fun and games until someone pokes an eye out.)

    How very.

    1. Could those be built using instructions from the internet and shoot targets reliably?

      Then stop being a killjoy.

    2.  I think the issue is that almost all classic RC aircraft need to be directly controlled in some way, These copters, in my experience, tend to be a step removed from that, interpreting commands into a sequence of events with the correct result.

      Essentially, they aren’t piloted, they are just directed, which I think is the biggest difference in most people’s minds – an unskilled person can still easily use one of these.

      I enjoy flying my classic ‘copter, but it’s very different experience.

      OR maybe that’s not it at all, I don’t know.

    3. Hipster. I’ve been RC flying for years, and the mainstreaming/technological progression of the hobby is good for both long time hobbyists and new fans. Honestly, if people at local RC fields and meetings weren’t so damn insular and shut off to beginners, I really think the hobby would be much more popular today. 

    4. Can anyone walk up to one of those fixed wing RCs and just take off without hours or days of practice?  These “DIY Drones” are a lot more stable than the RC craft you mention, especially for a beginner.  Having an on-board computer that provides a layer of abstraction from the technical details of flight gives these devices much wider appeal.

    5. “How very.” Sorry I know you’re trying to be serious, but this made me laugh so hard I snorted drones out of my drones.

  7. Imagine the possibilities of a drone made from 3D printer materials shooting a gun made from 3D printed materials at targets made from 3D printed materials…

  8. I would have had more fun if it was more of a “tech geeks laughing and being morons” type video than a “voice filtered conspiracy theorist” type video.

    It makes it a lot harder to enjoy the accomplishment. :(

  9. Anything that can carry a paintball marker can carry a live firearm.

    With a drum magazine, even a 9mm pistol could carry enough ammunition on one of these to turn into a very big danger. One more way to die at the hands of an idiot or a malcontent…

    1. No. The mass of real ammo and the recoil are both far greater with a real gun. The recoil alone would probably knock this thing off course or crash it, and would certainly make the aim far wilder even on the first shot.

      That’s not to say that you couldn’t build a copter that was strong enough to stay relatively stable (or quickly get back on course) with a real firearm, but paintball != real gun.

    2. Maybe it should be able to fire a volley of small estes rockets, each one tipped with an ounce of C4

  10.  Wouldn’t the recoil from a real gun knock this thing a-over-t? Also, wouldn’t a real gun & ammo weight a lot more than a paintball rig? Mythbusters wants to know!

    1. It is harder to calculate the recoil, but I worked out the math on the difference in energy earlier: 
      Paintball gun: 92 m/s firing .5 g (42 cal) paintball
      9mm: 400 m/s firing an 8 g bullet
      The difference is a couple hundred times the energy discharge. That drone (on the scale a hobbyest might reasonable build) firing a real 9mm would easily blow itself out of the sky.

      1. It’s not hard to calculate the recoil.  According to google, a paintball actually masses ~3g, so the total recoil should be on the order of ten times as much for a 9mm.  

      2. Not to worry.  There are clever ways of dealing with recoil.  Some of them would even improve the accuracy.

      3. The shock may damage it, but those multi-rotor copters seem to be able to recover pretty handily from anything that doesn’t shut them down.

        For proof of concept, it really needs only to get in place to fire once to make the point that remote killing and assassination is now within the reach of a DIY hobbyist club.

        Though even older RC could position an explosive, this really is an impressive and chilling demo of what we all knew was coming eventually.

    1. Standard  transmitter will get you about 500 meters. Upgraded 2.4Ghz will get you about 1k depending on signal interference. If you get a HAM license and a UHF transmitter you can get a couple of Kilometers. The real issue is battery life, you’re only looking at about 20 minutes on a standard multi-rotor. 

  11. Now let’s see some uncut video… sure he gets some hits eventually on stationary targets, but how long did that actually take?

  12. Well, I think that the problem with real guns is recoil, but I think that it can carry a blu ray-diode laser to fry some eyes…

  13. Bet if ya put a rifle in the forward mass would mean less recoil and keep it more balanced and aim better. Ooops.
    I bet alongside this innovation, in the USA, will be police drones and all sorts of radar and and identification systems.OTOH, in 3rd world countries, it may be a free for all.

  14. I can see a new form of Robot War type competitions here, where each contestant has to hunt down and paint ball the other contestant.

    There could even be divisions for human driven and AI driven drones.

  15. OK ok, the hunter killer stuff is obvious.  And the self-replicating bit – even my young kids ask is it hard for robots to be blown up, re-assemble and replicate.  Us adults scary?  Wait for the kidz to grow up thinking that this isn’t even strange.

    But!  Think of the side-angles!  Imagine the benefits to the graffiti community!  10 of these and you can have incredible murals in impossible places!  Yay!  Wait, no – boo!

    Fruit-pickers, fear for your jobs.  Window cleaners, you’ve had it.  Painters and decorators, time’s up.

    I’m going to have one sitting on a charger near my motorbike.  When a thief tries to nab it, the thing’s gonna follow them and have fun!

    The important thing here – it’s a marker in the hyper-speed development stemming from years of research, yielding across the board all sorts of funky things.

    Except, of course, we will also have Skynet to deal with.  The bell of inevitability rings with doom.

    Bagsy be Arnie.

  16. Hummm, Milo Danger sounds a whole lot like Jessie Ventura….  It’s not so much the sound of the voice but the accent and speech patterns.  Also seems like something right up his ally to do.

  17. Why the mask and the voice disguise? Is any of this illegal? My US-raised intuition is “nothing in that video breaks the law”. The narrator even makes a point of reminding people that these are not things you should do at home. 

    1. Imagine someone replicated this guy’s design with live ammo and killed someone.  At the very least, they may face some stressful scrutiny.  The voice changer and mask probably won’t protect them from that, but if it makes them feel better. . . 

  18. His video again proves having the ability to make cool things does not translate into having the ability to make a cool video about it.

  19. a wookie can distract a drone long enough for it to be made inoperable…

    good against cardboard cutouts is one thing, but good against the living?

  20. Well, OK as far as it goes. But all it shows is a bunch of targets hit by paint. What if there’d been only one target? How many shots were taken – the whole bowl-load? I’m getting no sense that he hit anything at all he was actually aiming at.

  21. That’s no way to assassinate someone with a hover-drone! A professional would have flew up to their victim’s non-bulletproof window, released a couple of poisonous space-centipedes through a carefully cut hole while the victim slept, waited around for the plot to fail, then allowed the drone to carry a Jedi Knight straight back to the attempted assassin for no good reason whatsoever. (God, I hate George Lucas sometimes.)

  22. A gun would be unnecessary for most cases unless the target was known to always be indoors.  In fact the gun is undesirable because you would have to get reasonably close to the target and they would see/hear you coming and time is needed to line up a shot.

    I think the ideal payload for a home made device like this would be a large incendiary device (e.g. a big petrol bomb).  Just hover high above the target and drop the payload.  This way, accurate targeting is less of a concern (lots of splash damage).  The drone can operate at much greater distance and be very hard to detect.The danger is that it would be almost too easy to make, requiring minimal mods to the existing drone design to function effectively.  If you had them, I’d think dropping grenades would be feasible too.

  23. I’ve identified the masked man. It’s Lorne Michaels. Who else could produce a 4 minute video with about 15 seconds worth watching.

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