Nikola Tesla's Greatest Invention You Didn't Know About

This holiday season, while you're playing with your freshly unwrapped drone or whatever radio operated doodads the youths are fiddling with these days, don't thank your parents or your spouse. Thank the electrifying genius Nikola Tesla. It turns out that the iconic inventor and patron saint of kids who probably also like Rick and Morty a lot was responsible for yet another of the staples of everyday life that we now all enjoy without putting too much thought into how they work.

As if it wasn't enough that he championed alternating current and, in so doing, became responsible for a full 50 percent of the AC/DC discography, Tesla was also the creator of what would grow up to be drone tech. In 1898, he patented the design for a small, battery operated torpedo boat that could be operated remotely. For a little context, this was the same year that the USS Maine exploded, precipitating the Spanish-American War, so the concept of an automaton army of boat exploders was at a higher premium than usual.

Tesla, the padrone of drones

Like so many inventors before him, Tesla seemed to fall into the logic trap that is "If I make something deadly enough, everybody will just stop fighting!" In an interview with the New York Herald, he was quoted as saying "War will cease to be possible when all the world knows to-morrow that the most feeble of nations can supply itself immediately with a weapon which will render its coast secure and its ports impregnable to the assaults of the united armadas of the world. Battle ships will cease to be built, and the mightiest armorclads and the most tremendous artillery afloat will be of no more use than so much scrap iron."

Anyway, in a nutshell, world peace didn't pan out and Tesla died broke, but enjoy your remote control BB-8s, everybody!