While this hasn’t happened to such a degree (yet), it’s worth noting that Tesla saw the potential in drone warfare over a century before unmanned aerial vehicles (or UAVs) were being used in the so-called War on Terror. The US alone has killed thousands of people in drone strikes. The closest we’ve gotten to a technology that has cared people into peace was the atomic bomb, which caused the US and the Soviet Union to glare at each other for nearly half a century.

The first drone used in warfare—or more specifically, the first unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft—was invented for World War I. The Kettering Bug was a bomb-carrying biplane that could fly on a preset route to a target, although it wasn’t perfected until the war was over. It was also a very expensive and complicated process that entailed destroying a plane once it was used. It was also unable to change course after launch, so it probably wasn’t the best way to drop bombs.


Still, it’s always interesting to look back at Tesla’s patents to see what one of the most controversial scientific minds of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was focused on. It’s especially intriguing if you think that Tesla accidentally invented cloning, or secretly caused the Tunguska explosion because what else could he have been capable of?


[Popular Science]