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Read Nikola Tesla's Drone Patent... From 1898


Nikola Tesla Patent For Unmanned Vehicle Control

United States Patent And Trademark Office

Nikola Tesla Patent For Unmanned Vehicle Control

Drones, before there were drones.

Nikola Tesla, the inventor, electric car company namesake, and beloved darling of the internet, had a great many visions in his mind. Among the more obscure: a patent for killer robots. And not just killer robots, but killer robots he thought were so deadly that the mere risk of their use would bring about peace.

As spotted by technologist Matthew Schroyer:

The patent, for "Method of and apparatus for controlling mechanism of moving vessels or vehicles," was granted November 8th, 1898. For a device like this to work, it needed to be wireless, and Tesla envisioned it powered by electrical waves. From the patent: