Last year, I wrote about the future of drone surveillance and swarms of cyborg insect drones. That article was full of MAV (micro aerial vehicles) that looked like they should be in a B-grade sci-fi flick. In particular, after seeing a freaky video, I'd like to remind you of the U.S. Air Force's bug-sized spies, or "tiny a bumblebees," that would not be detected when flying into buildings to "photograph, record, and even attack insurgents and terrorists."
MAVs: Bumblebee-sized surveillance swarms and assassin drones
Now, imagine those bug-sized spies working in a swarm, each with a specific surveillance mission. Precisely as a bumblebee can sting a person, these tiny bumblebee-sized drones can "attack" and "sting" the target, surely making them the world's smallest assassins. The video said these MAVs could be airdropped or hand-launched. Because of the tiny size, they can "hide" in plain sight. They may be used in missions that last weeks, meaning they would need to "harvest energy" from sunlight, wind, vibrating machinery, or even re-energize off of power lines.
Make sure you take the time to watch the video, and then feel free to freak out at the possibilities. However, these insect drones are not part of Homeland Security's "loan-a-drone" program and the MAVs are not supposed to be deployed against Americans. And if it helps, the video is about 3 years old.
Black Hornet Nano drones
Let's jump back in with what's going on in UK drone development. The Brits are also using tiny surveillance drones, 4 inch by 1 inch and weighing .6 ounces, about the size of a pair of sunglasses, each complete with a tiny camera to relay video and photos. Among its many capabilities, the "Black Hornet Nano" drone can "hover and stare," can "look behind, between and below obstacles," and can obtain a "bird's eye view for situational awareness."
Image credit: Ministry of Defence
Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. Smith has a diverse background in information technology, programming, web development, IT consulting, and information security. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.
Smith is an independent contractor and is not affiliated with any vendor that makes or sells information technology.
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