Lev Bely, 22.05.2012 16:01
Look back: your own home may host not only inobnoxious moths but also an insect drone watching you. Here it goes, latest Israel's indoor surveillance project — a small “butterfly” that weighs just 20 grams, a unique and perfect spy which has no peer in doing its job well and, the core thing, imperceptible.
The spy can take color photos, take off vertically and hover in the air as helicopter, Israel Hayom newspaper reports. World's largest aerospace and aviation manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) says this may come in handy in ground clashes, when a soldier would merely take it out of a pocket and send behind the enemy’s line.
The flying spy that equipped with a 0,15-gram camera and a memory card is controlled from a distance with a special helmet. This helmet allows one to see right as you were inside a butterfly watching anything it can watch in real time.
“The butterfly’s advantage is its ability to fly in an enclosed environment. There is no other aerial vehicle that can do that today,” Dubi Binyamini, head of IAI mini-robotics department told Israel Hayom.
Nearly any place could be surveyed with this spy — from railway stations and airports to office buildings, frontlines and even southern Lebanon deep forests where, as Israel believes, Hezbollah squads hide in ambush.
A translucent butterfly looking like an overgrown moth is still smaller than some other butterflies; it as well doesn't reveal itself with noiseless wings that flutter 14 times per second.
This is a typical “biomimicry” case when technology follows nature through copying it straightly. The Israeli insect did confuse nature: at 50-meter height where the device was tested, birds and insects tried following it to make a flock or swarm.
IAI needs two more years to accomplish the project. This butterfly spy seems to be one in a row of drones being reduced in size: while the recent “Ghost” city observation model weighs 4kg, the similar “Mosquito” does just about 500 grams.
The insect drone is to bring “a real technological revolution” for militaries as the developer predicts, still it's curious how it could be used in normal everyday life. Meanwhile, the police already pointed on it since secret services apparently have such an intolerable lack of this kind of accessorize.
Photo: a spy butterfly, http://www.israelhayom.co.il
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