Aerial surveillance in the palm of your hand developed for US government

AeroVironment's NanoHummingbird aerial surveillance drone
AeroVironment’s NanoHummingbird aerial surveillance drone

A company called AeroVironment, Inc in the USA has developed a flying drone with surveillance camera that looks and flies like a hummingbird.

Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the drone carries a video camera and its own power source and uses the flapping of its two wings for propulsion and control in much the same way as a hummingbird.

The final concept demonstrator is called the ‘Nano Hummingbird’ and is capable of climbing and descending vertically, flying sideways left and right, flying forward and backward, as well as rotating clockwise and counter-clockwise, under remote control and carrying a video camera payload. During the demonstration (see video below) the Nano Hummingbird flew in and out of a building through a normal-size doorway.

The company reports that the hand-made prototype aircraft has a wingspan of 16 centimeters (6.5 inches) tip-to-tip and has a total flying weight of 19 grams (2/3 ounce), which is less than the weight of a common AA battery. This includes all the systems required for flight; batteries, motors, communications systems and video camera. The aircraft can be fitted with a removable body fairing, which is shaped to have the appearance of a real hummingbird. The aircraft is larger and heavier than an average hummingbird, but is smaller and lighter than the largest hummingbird currently found in nature.


AeroVironment Inc

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