Pentagon’s Robo-Hummingbird Flies Like the Real Thing

Military-backed researchers have built a tiny drone that looks and flies like a hummingbird, flapping its little robotic wings to stay in the air. So far, the mock bird, built for Pentagon mad-science division Darpa, has only stayed aloft for 20 seconds at a time. But that short flight was enough to show the potential of a whole new class of miniature spies, inspired by nature. Darpa just handed AeroVironment, makers of the winged “nano air vehicle,” another $2.1 million to build a hummingbot 2.0.

Ultimately, Darpa program manager Todd Hylton says in a statement, he’d like see “an approximately 10-gram aircraft that can hover for extended periods, can fly at forward speeds up to 10 meters per second, can withstand 2.5-meter-per-second wind gusts.” He also wants the nano air vehicle to operate inside buildings, and be controllable from up to a kilometer away.

AeroVironment, for its part, doesn’t just want its little drone to fly like a bird. The company wants the thing to look like one, too:

Video: Pentagon’s Robo-Hummingbird Flies Like the Real Thing | Danger Room |


AeroVironment flapping-wing nano-UAV



Dragonfly or Insect Spy? Scientists at Work on Robobugs


Vanessa Alarcon saw them while working at an antiwar rally in Lafayette Square last month.
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"I heard someone say, 'Oh my god, look at those,' " the college senior from New York recalled. "I look up and I'm like, 'What the hell is that?' They looked kind of like dragonflies or little helicopters. But I mean, those are not insects."

Out in the crowd, Bernard Crane saw them, too.

"I'd never seen anything like it in my life," the Washington lawyer said. "They were large for dragonflies. I thought, 'Is that mechanical, or is that alive?' "

That is just one of the questions hovering over a handful of similar sightings at political events in Washington and New York. Some suspect the insectlike drones are high-tech surveillance tools, perhaps deployed by the Department of Homeland Security.

Dragonfly or Insect Spy? Scientists at Work on Robobugs. -
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R.C. Toy enthusiasts might like this video. if they have toys for kids like this, i can just imagine what is really flying around our sky's. i think the word 'Bug' has a new meaning

RC Dragonfly Robot Flapping Wings Insect Ornithopter