Radio jamming systems apparently thwarted an attempted presidential assassination with improvised drone bombs in Venezuela. On Saturday 4th August, President Nicolas Maduro's speech at an outdoor rally was interrupted by two explosions. Seven soldiers on parade were injured, three critically. Others scattered while bodyguards rushed to protect the president with bulletproof shields. Witnesses reported seeing two multicopter drones which crashed into a nearby apartment building and exploded.
Venezuela's interior minister says six people have been arrested, after what President Nicolas Maduro says was an assassination attempt against him. The president accuses Colombia and a group of US financiers of trying to kill him. Venezuela's opposition fears the government will launch a crackdown. Colombia's Foreign Affairs Ministry called that accusation absurd, and in Washington, President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton strongly denied any US role.
On Saturday, as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro gave a speech in Caracas before a large military assemblage, drones carrying explosives approached, detonating near the stage. While Maduro was unharmed, Venezuelan information minister Jorge Rodriguez said that the attack injured seven soldiers. It's a method of assault that only a few years ago felt unthinkable, but has quickly become inevitable. Details remain scarce about the exact nature of the attack, which Rodriguez characterized as an "assassination attempt," including what type of drones were used and the nature of the explosives involved. In a televised address to his country, Maduro appeared to attribute the strike to far-right factions in Venezuela and Columbia.
A Saudi-led coalition has launched air raids on Yemen's Hodeidah, in an apparent resumption of military operations on the strategic Red Sea city after Houthi rebels attacked two Saudi oil tankers and one of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) main airports. The Houthi-run al-Masirah TV said in a series of tweets on Friday that coalition air strikes had targeted a radio station inside the city and a fishing pier. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The latest offensive on the port city of Hodeidah came a day after Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone attack on Abu Dhabi's international airport. According to the Al-Masirah television channel, the Sammad-3 drone launched three attacks on the airport.
Drones have a habit of crashing. If they are ever to be relied on for delivering packages in complex environments like cities, they're going to have to get smarter. A team of researchers from the University of Zurich and Intel has come up with a way for drones to do this – learn to dodge obstacles as they fly. Elia Kaufmann and colleagues wanted to develop drones that could autonomously pilot themselves through hoops or gates used in drone racing.
The US is going to start taking rogue drones out of the air… by launching its own drones to smash into them. Attacks using consumer drones are on the rise. In 2017, ISIS forces in Mosul attacked US-backed Iraqi troops with dozens of consumer drones dropping grenades, and earlier this year a swarm of small drones attacked a Russian airbase in Syria. Such attacks are difficult to counter with existing weapons.
In this scenario, neighbours have been complaining that something smelly is coming from a nearby house. You've been called to the scene. This is what you'd hear if you were on one of the eight military and civilian bomb squad teams competing in the Robot Rodeo last week, an annual event hosted by Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.