Imagine how much hunting will change when you can load your rifle with bullets that steer themselves into their targets. That future is starting to look like a real possibility, thanks to a new invention from Sandia National Laboratories researchers Red Jones and Brian Kast.
They’ve developed – though not yet perfected – a dart-like self-guided bullet that is capable of finding its way to a laser-designated target that is more than a mile away. The four-inch long bullet features a built-in optical sensor, CPU, battery and electromagnet-powered steering fins.
It’s fast, too. With conventional gunpowder, the bullet can reach speeds of up to Mach 2.1, or 2,400 feet per second. There’s still a very long way to go before we see something like this sold to consumers, however. Not only does the design need to be perfected, but a laser designator isn’t the sort of thing you can buy at your local Wal-Mart.
Still, we’re one step closer today to a self-guided bullet than we were yesterday. There’s a word for that: progress.