Hummingbird-Like Robot

From rats to hummingbirds, the biological models just keep on coming.  This is another in a long line of nature-modeled robots.  It flaps its wings in the manner of a hummingbird and is built to use a spy for the military.  Its purpose would be to loiter in an area, either indoors or outdoors, and send video of its target.  It would be so small as to be almost undetectable.  Plus, if it looks and acts like a hummingbird, it might be mistaken for the real thing even if it is discovered.  Also, check out the video on YouTube.  And finally, a note to readers, there will be no post for tomorrow, July 4, Independence Day here in the USA.  Please return on Sunday for the Weekend Newswrap.

hummingbird robot 

Image Credit: Forbes.com

AeroVironment, maker of several important military UAVs like the Wasp, Raven, and Dragon Eye , has received a Phase II SBIR grant from DARPA to continue work on it’s hummingbird-like nano UAV (NAV), which propels itself with flapping wings. In the video, the vehicles stability control is shown, including take-offs from a standstill.

“The goals of the NAV program — namely to develop 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, can operate inside buildings, and have up to a kilometer command and control range — will stretch our understanding of flight at these small sizes and require novel technology development.”

The Phase II contract is worth $2.1 million USD and will continue through the summer of 2010.

[Via Slashdot]

Hummingbird-Like Nano UAV from AeroVironment
William Cox
Thu, 02 Jul 2009 12:18:57 GMT

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