With the recent approval of drone use within the US and the crashing of a drone in Maryland, many citizens are cautiously looking up at the sky to spot a roaming Predator. The newest drones however are not the UAVs we’re accustomed to seeing. In a breakthrough straight out of a science fiction novel, the US military has revealed their capabilities to make drones that look just like insects. The Daily Mail explains:
Over recent years a range of miniature drones, or micro air vehicles (MAVs), based on the same physics used by flying insects, have been presented to the public.
…the US Air Force unveiled insect-sized spies ‘as tiny as bumblebees’ that could not be detected and would be able to fly into buildings to ‘photograph, record, and even attack insurgents and terrorists.’
Around the same time the Air Force also unveiled what it called ‘lethal mini-drones’ based on Leonardo da Vinci’s blueprints for his Ornithopter flying machine, and claimed they would be ready for roll out by 2015.
That announcement was five years ago and, since the U.S. military is usually pretty cagey about its technological capabilities, it raises the question as to what it is keeping under wraps.
Scientists have taken their inspiration from animals which have evolved over millennia to the perfect conditions for flight.
Nano-biomimicry MAV design has long been studied by DARPA, and in 2008 the U.S. government’s military research agency conducted a symposium discussing ‘bugs, bots, borgs and bio-weapons.’