I’ve enjoyed Mark Rober’s videos for a while now. They are fun, touch on accessible topics, and have decent production value. But this recent video isn’t sitting right with me


The video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrGENEXocJU

In it, he talks about a few techniques for how to take down “bad guy drones”, the problems with each, and then shows off the drone tech by Anduril as a solution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anduril_Industries

Anduril aims to sell the U.S. Department of Defense technology, including artificial intelligence and robotics. Anduril’s major products include unmanned aerial systems (UAS), counter-UAS (CUAS), semi-portable autonomous surveillance systems, and networked command and control software.

In the video, the Anduril product is a heavy drone that uses kinetic energy to destroy other drones (by flying into them). Quoting the person in the video:

imagine a children’s bowling ball thrown at twice as fast as a major league baseball fastball, that’s what it’s like getting hit by Anvil


This technology is scary for obvious reasons, especially in the wrong hands. What I also don’t like is how Mark Rober’s content is aimed at children, and this video includes a large segment advertising the children’s products he is selling. Despite that, he is promoting military technology with serious ethical implications.

There’s even a section in the video where they show off the Roadrunner, compare it against the patriot missiles, and loosely tie it in to defending against drones. While the Anvil could be used to hurt people, at least it is designed for small flying drones. The Roadrunner is not:

The Roadrunner is a 6 ft (1.8 m)-long twin turbojet-powered delta-winged craft capable of high subsonic speeds and extreme maneuverability. Company officials describe it as somewhere between an autonomous drone and a reusable missile. The basic version can be fitted with modular payloads such as intelligence and reconnaissance sensors. The Roadrunner-M has an explosive warhead to intercept UAS, cruise missiles, and manned aircraft.

  • @Tetsuo
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    603 months ago

    Also a 5mn ad break to sell his kit felt much too long.

    It’s like 1/3 of the video.

    • Smuuthbrane
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      453 months ago

      That’s his videos now. Get you to watch them to hype Crunch Labs.

      • @frezik@midwest.social
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        263 months ago

        This, I think, is more a symptom of YouTube no longer supporting creators. Most every big channel is looking to alternate income sources. YouTube ad revenue and sponsor inserts aren’t good enough.

        Thing is, I wouldn’t mind it if channels could self-fund by things like this, but it’s being done on top of all the ads, not replacing them.

      • /home/pineapplelover
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        43 months ago

        It does seem interesting though. I was thinking of getting one for my sister but I believe the price deterred me.

      • @Tetsuo
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        43 months ago

        I think these are not blocked by default by sponsor block because it’s an ad for the creator’s products.

        But anyway it’s far too long.

        Felt like a LTT video…

        • @Feathercrown@lemmy.world
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          13 months ago

          Yeah, I recently learned you could enable blocking self-sponsorships too and it cut out like a third of this video.

    • DdCno1
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      13 months ago

      Without SponsorBlock, Youtube is basically unwatchable.