Tech

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey's defense start-up is now making attack drones

Key Points
  • Anduril is launching its first attack drone, called the "Interceptor," that can autonomously detect and destroy other drones.
  • Interceptor prototypes are already being shipped out to military clients.
  • The defense company was started by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, who was ousted from Facebook in 2017.
Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR
Gabrielle Lurie | AFP | Getty Images

Anduril, the defense start-up founded by Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, first made a splash with its virtual border wall technology.

Now, the controversial company is branching out into attack drones, with the launch of the "Interceptor." The artificial intelligence-connected, unmanned aircraft is designed to detect targets and "kill rotary or fixed-wing threats autonomously in any environment, day or night." It's envisioned as a way to provide another layer of security for military forces, as well as protect "critical infrastructure."

The company said it has already begun deploying prototype Interceptor drones to clients. Anduril has also signed a contract to issue the drones, which are its first computer-operated weapon, in conflict areas overseas, according to NBC News. Each Interceptor drone is about the size of a bowling ball and can destroy other drones without any damage to its own hardware.

Anduril has attracted scrutiny for its willingness to work with the U.S. government, while other tech giants such as Google have wavered on doing so. In recent months, Anduril has continued to grow, garnering a $1 billion-plus valuation in its latest funding round, which included participation from Andreessen Horowitz.

Luckey started Anduril after he was ousted from Facebook in 2017 amid controversy tied to his political beliefs and contributions to far-right groups and internet trolls.

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