DARPA Funded Flying 6.5-inch Nano Hummingbird: Amazing

 
Video courtesy of AeroVironment via the Los Angeles Times

Strictly speaking AeroVironment’s Nano Hummingbird is a bit outside of the normal scope of this blog. However, it is small (6.5 inches long and two-thirds of an ounce heavy – less than a AA battery). It is also a mobile technology (it flies) that contains an integrated video camera. It is also very very cool. So, I’m declaring it a mobile device!

Its development was funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) whose mission is to promote the development of way out ideas. It is part of DARPA’s Nano Air Vehicle program to develop extremely small air vehicles with the potential to perform indoor and outdoor military missions.

AeroVironment reports that the Nano Hummingbird met the following milestones.

1. Demonstrate precision hover flight within a virtual two-meter diameter sphere for one minute.
2. Demonstrate hover stability in a wind gust flight which required the aircraft to hover and tolerate a two-meter per second (five miles per hour) wind gust from the side, without drifting downwind more than one meter.
3. Demonstrate a continuous hover endurance of eight minutes with no external power source.
4. Fly and demonstrate controlled, transition flight from hover to 11 miles per hour fast forward flight and back to hover flight.
5. Demonstrate flying from outdoors to indoors, and back outdoors through a normal-size doorway.
6. Demonstrate flying indoors ‘heads-down’ where the pilot operates the aircraft only looking at the live video image stream from the aircraft, without looking at or hearing the aircraft directly.
7. Fly the aircraft in hover and fast forward flight with bird-shaped body and bird-shaped wings.

Via LA Times: It’s a bird! It’s a spy! It’s both

AeroVironment’s product site is found at:
Nano Hummingbird