Monday, October 09, 2006

Robotic Spy Flies

UK military scientists are developing robot flies that can be sent in swarms to spy out enemy positions. Rafal Zbikowski, the project leader, believes the first machine insects could be buzzing around his lab within ten years. He has already produced a non-airborne prototype that mimics the wing-beats of a hover fly. Unlike conventional unmanned air vehicles(UAVs), Dr. Zbikowski's tiny drones could operate in confined and cluttered spaces within buildings, stairwells, tunnels or caves. They would be invaluable for rooting out hidden terrorists, or helping to locate victims of natural disasters such as earthquakes. Industrial applications might involve inspecting chemical pipes or mines.


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