Monday, August 1, 2011

Dragonfly drones and cyborg moths: Tiny flying robots set to be the future of spying and rescue missions

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Housefly: Scientists hope to harness insects' extraordinary flying ability to cut down the size of military drones

The next generation of military robots is set to be based on designs inspired by the insect world.

The dragonfly drones and cyborg moths, with in-built micro-cameras, could revolutionise spying missions and rescue operations.

The advantage of using drones is that they can be used in emergency situations too dangerous for people and in secret military surveillance raids.


Drone: Unmanned aircraft are currently used for surveillance and bombing missions, but their large size makes them unwieldy


And new research suggests that the mechanics of insects can be reverse-engineered to design midget machines to scout battlefields and search for victims trapped in rubble.

Scientists have taken their inspiration from animals which have evolved over millennia to the perfect conditions for flight.

Zoologist Richard Bomphrey, of Oxford University, is leading a study to generate new insight into how insect wings have evolved over the last 350 million years.

He said: 'Nature has solved the problem of how to design miniature flying machines.

'By learning those lessons, our findings will make it possible to aerodynamically engineer a new breed of surveillance vehicles that, because they are as small as insects and also fly like them, completely blend into their surroundings.'

source: dailymail


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