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New Scientist reports that a new microchip-sized digital camera, developed by the California Institute of Technology using funding from NASA and the Pentagon, has been patented and is expected to replace current camera technology on the tiny spy drones.
According to the article, the revolutionary aspect of the design is that the new size means that the main power drain on existing minicams - connecting the chips for the sensors and support circuitry - is no longer necessary, making the new remote controlled camera use much less energy, and therefore be more suited for secret surveillance missions.
The gadget can be radio-controlled via a secure frequency-hopping link from up to a kilometre away, say its inventors.