Tim Hornyak
December 31, 2009

Researchers at Japan’s Chiba University are developing a hummingbird-style flying robot that could be used to find people trapped in collapsed buildings, search for criminals, or even explore other planets.

Engineering professor Hiroshi Liu said the micro air vehicle, or MAV, is equipped with a mini motor that allows it to flap its wings up to 30 times per second–roughly in the same range as a hummingbird.

The remote-controlled ornithopter is nearly 4 inches long and weighs about 0.09 ounces. Its rechargeable battery allows for six minutes of flying time, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

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