Friday, February 18, 2011

Big (or is that little) Brother is Watching...

Well, from the super-smart to the super-small: In the way of science applied in cool ways, apparently the pentagon has developed a new "nano-UAV" built to look like, and fly like, a regular hummingbird. Check out the video.


The robotic hummingbird was built (somewhat obviously) for spy purposes. It's still in testing phases (it's maximum flight time right now is about 8 minutes). However, flight time will not be the only thing the designers have to fix. As one author put it, the robot only really works as a spy if "that area has a population of hummingbirds -- the usual reaction to seeing a hummingbird here in midtown Manhattan is something like 'OMG you guys look at the hummingbird!!!!!!,' which is not necessarily an ideal situation for a spy-drone."

Whatever its future in espionage might be, it's really cool.


  1. Bill,

    That is really cool and an impressive piece of engineering. I'm impressed how much it looks like a real bird flying. But, by the same token, how can I trust the animals around me anymore? :)

  2. As an idea, using robotic animals for spy purposes is nothing new. (Recall The Incredibles and Richie Rich, just to name a couple.) Also, in an era when spy satellites can read the mint mark on a dime lying on the sidewalk and look through your living room window from orbit, I doubt that this will add too much to the "big brother is watching" paranoia we'd all probably be feeling if we really thought about it.


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