Dromoticons: Terrifying Machines Illustrated With a Keyboard

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
July 3 2012 5:12 PM

Dromoticons: Terrifying Machines Illustrated With a Keyboard

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Can you depict a drone with a computer keyboard?

Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

We’re starting to get a sense of what drones of the present and future look like. But nothing is real until we can create an emoticon version of it. So, we’ve got a new minimeme of sorts, one that attempts to draw a drone using only keyboard characters.

Just like the real thing, there are lots of varieties on Twitter—thanks to a contest from online publication the New Inquiry. With the offer of a free lifetime subscription to the publication, TNI inspired some pretty interesting keyboard approximations of unmanned vehicles. The winner’s entry looks vaguely similar to plane-shaped UAVs like the hunter-killer MQ-9 Reaper.

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Of course, making dromoticons might be a bit more fun than imagining a future full of actual drones, but TNI’s contest was part of a much more serious project: a series of stories on how unmanned vehicles are changing our domestic landscape, war-making technology and politics.  It’s worth checking out… |\_______(#*#)_______/|

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.

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