The growing unmanned aircraft industry has developed a device that looks like a hummingbird known as nano-hummingbird.
The pentagon has spent millions of dollars into the development of a tiny drones inspired by biology, each equipped with audio and video equipment that can record sounds and sight.
They could be used not only for spying but for locating people under earthquake rubble buildings and detecting hazardous chemical leaks.
The nano-hummingbird has a 6.5 inch wing span, the remote controlled bird weighs less than an AA battery and can fly at speeds of up to 18 kph, propelled only by the flapping of its two wings.
A tiny camera sits in its belly. The fabricated bird can climb and descend vertically, fly sideways, forward and backward. It can rotate clockwise and counter clockwise.
Their potential use outside of war zones, however, is raising questions about privacy and the dangers of the winged creatures buzzing around in the same skies as aircraft.
AeroVironment, the builder of the nano-hummingbird, was asked by pentagon to develop a pocket sized aircraft for surveillance and reconnaissance that mimic biology. It could be anything from a dragonfly to a hummingbird.
Five years later, it has developed of what it calls the world’s first hummingbird spy plane at a cost of US$ 4 million dollars.