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We’ve seen countless spy movies where the fearless protagonist is being tracked by video cameras shaped like owls or robotic insects with surveillance gear. Most of us simply paid those fun fantasies no mind, but those at DARPA seem to have gotten quite upset that they didn’t think of it first. Well, in a bid to out-smart Hollywood, they have contracted the California company AeroVironment (such a wholly terrible name that they only refer to themselves as AV) to create a mechanized hummingbird. It looks like plans for our nation’s defense is being torn page-by-page right from the book of Michael Bay.
The project right now is very hush-hush, with the AV website dropping only the DARPA bomb and a computer generated picture of what it would look like in finished form. Dubbed the Nano Air Vehicle (NAV), the project is intended to mimic nature and one only needs to delve into the imagination to figure out exactly what dastardly deeds may be accomplished through this avian impostor. Well, chances are it wouldn’t be very useful in places that do not have hummingbirds as an indigenous species, but that’s beside the point.
The NAV could be outfitted with surveillance equipment and used to spy at long range upon some of the harshest guerrillas, drug lords and dictators of South America with them being none the wiser. Sure, there are probably other ways to go about it, but none have the style or pizazz that a robotic spying hummingbird would. Even so, there is definitely more to this little hummingbot than just surveillance duty. Who knows where the technology will go, but the progress with these tiny flying vehicles is simply astounding.