A surveillance drone the size and shape of a hummingbird was demonstrated for the public by the developers, according to published reports.
Matt Keennon of AeroVironment demonstrated the tiny unmanned surveillance aircraft—known as the “nano-hummingbird”—on Feb. 25 at the company’s facilities in Simi Valley, Calif. Keennon is the project manager overseeing development of the high-tech hummingbird-shaped drone.
The aircraft has a 6.5-inch wingspan, and the can hover and move quickly in almost any direction, the developers say, which is a capability defense officials want in a small aircraft for intelligence and reconnaissance.
The nano-hummingbird can record sights and sounds on a video camera in its core, and it is designed to land on a window ledge and gather intelligence on those inside, according to the developers.
At the demonstration, the aircraft buzzed Keennon’s head before landing on his hand. The surveillance craft was developed for a U.S. defense agency, but the researchers were not clear if it will ever leave the lab.