Sign up FAST! Login

Navy Develops Swarm of Mini-Drones

Stashed in: Drones!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

The researchers have described the disposable unmanned vehicle as being essentially a flying circuit board. One CICADA fits in the palm of your hand, and 18 can be contained in a six-inch cube. Each tiny drone is equipped with GPS, a built-in microphone, and sensors. Although the Navy has other complex technology, this particular drone was designed to be simple and efficient. It only contains 10 moving parts and does not have cameras or engines, which would compromise the minimalist design by being too bulky and costly.

Despite not having an engine, the CICADA can be directed to land within a few feet of a target. The GPS receiver tells it where to land, and the drone adjusts it wings and rudder accordingly. In test flights, the drone was released from 57,600 feet and landed within 15 feet of its target. They are surprisingly indestructible. The prototype cost only a thousand dollars, and full-scale production models would be just $250 each. In the future, hundreds of small, plastic drones could be dropped off in a flight and left to scatter across hostile territory without directly over-flying those regions or exposing human agents on the ground.

It's scary how sophisticated a swarm of tiny drones could be.

I wonder if we could teach them to pollinate plants like bees.

You May Also Like: