Dromoticons: Terrifying Machines Illustrated With a Keyboard

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

Dromoticons: Terrifying Machines Illustrated With a Keyboard

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.


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.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.