Inventor Nikola Tesla, in his days, predicted smartphones, television, and apparently drones, which he thought could cause humanity’s destruction.
In a patent, granted on November 8, 1898, Tesla wrote that his invention required no wires or electrical conductors. Instead, he said he found a way to move the “vessels” by “producing waves, impulses, or radiations which are received through the earth, water, or atmosphere” and that can reach the object as long as it “remains within the active region or effective range.” He described radio waves as “electrical oscillations which do not follow any particular conducting-path, but propagate in straight lines through space.”
The patent, titled “Method Of And Apparatus For Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vessels or Vehicles” also details Tesla’s predictions on drone warfare, where he states that it will bring about peace among nations due to its “certain and unlimited destructiveness.”
A technologist Matthew Schroyer posted excerpts and a scan of the patent on Twitter.
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.