In following computer science-slash-machine learning research you come across a lot of unintentional dystopias hiding under cover of solutions to largely theoretical problems. Take, for example, a paper published this month in IEEE Communications Magazine by a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge and Koc University describing the Energy Neutral Internet of Drones (enIoD).
enloD is, essentially, a framework for a security-tasked drone network that doesn’t have to rest, operating continuously with drone charging and data transfer tasks integrated nearly seamlessly into its operation. Like the internet-internet, its key feature is resiliency. It autonomously rebalances, and, in a sense, mends itself.
In enloD, drones themselves are able to serve not just as network nodes, but as connections between nodes. Should a communications link fail somewhere, whether among drones or between drones and satellites or ground stations, drones themselves can serve to physically transport data packets across the rift. Same thing with power: If a charging station starts running low, a drone can physically transport power to it from a better charged station.