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DARPA-Commissioned Robotic Hummingbird Takes to the Air

by Shane McGlaun
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When I think about DARPA building robots, I envision something along the line of the Terminator or Johnny 5. That isn’t what DARPA has in mind though (at least in this project) as one of its projects has hit the prototype operation phase.

The project is the AeroVironment Nano Air Vehicle, and it looks like a hummingbird. The company says that the micro-aircraft is larger and heavier than an average hummingbird, but weighs less and is smaller than the largest hummingbird in nature. The remote controlled aerial vehicle has flapping wings that provide the ability to hover and fly in any direction the operator wants. Here’s a video showing the Nano hummingbird in action:

The tiny UAV measures 6.5-inchs wing tip to wing tip and has a total flying weight of 19 grams. That is very light considering the robot has all the hardware needed for flight, controls, a video camera, and the battery. The video that the flying machine shoots can be sent to a remote operator as well. According to AeroVironment, the hummingbird design could someday be used for providing undercover reconnaissance in urban environments.

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Comments (3):

  1. Morten says:

    cool!

  2. tech234 says:

    this is kinda scary, this can be used to spy on people without them being aware its in the area.

  3. Raprap says:

    “this is kinda scary, this can be used to spy on people without them being aware its in the area.”

    well it does do alot ogf noise – so you might just be able to hear it..
    anyway alot of tech can be used to spy on people – this is just another tool to that belt.. if some people are crazy enough to want to do that. :)

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