U.S. Special Forces to test hummingbird-sized drones

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In 2013, British soldiers in the Brigade Reconnaissance Force snagged a hummingbird-sized drone from a Norway-based company called Prox Dynamics. The Black Hornet drone is only four inches long, but essentially eliminates the need to bring trigger-happy humans along on dangerous missions where a single mistake could mean the difference between life or death.

American Special Forces are about to test their own batch of the creepy UAVs.

How capable is the Black Hornet Drone?

Even though they don’t look like much — just a small flying camera — the Black Hornet drone is equipped with sophisticated gadgets. The camera films in light and infrared, sending data back to the pilot, who flies the drone with a one-handed controller and chest-mounted screen. If the enemy ever manages to capture one of these drones, they won’t know what it filmed.

Sneaky.

The devices are meant for short-range operations: it can only fly about 2/3 of a mile from the pilot’s location, and the battery will only keep it airborne for about 25 minutes. At ten meters per second, it’s still fast enough to evade the notice of most anyone it films.

The Black Hornet drone was also built with environmental concerns and durability in mind. It can easily operate over the arid, windy terrain where they most often fly (at least we’re not lying to ourselves about where we conduct most of our wars).

Back in 2013, Major Adam Foden commented on the Black Hornet Drone:

Black Hornet is a game-changing piece of kit. Previously we would have sent soldiers forward to see if there were any enemy fighters hiding inside a set of buildings. Now we are deploying Black Hornet to look inside compounds and to clear a route through enemy-held spaces. It has worked very well and the pictures it delivers back to the monitor are really clear. And Black Hornet is so small and quiet that the locals can’t see or hear it.

This is what Big Brother’s next chapter of spying looks like when in the air:

What are your thoughts about this drone someday zipping around in our neighborhood?

About Author

Jeff is a self-proclaimed pragmatic futurist; that is, he has high hopes for absurd life-altering technologies which sound too good to be true, and probably are. Although he writes on a variety of subjects, his real passion is for technological innovation and the people who make it happen. By day, he enjoys fuzzy bunnies, kittens, puppies, roller coasters and a sardonic written word or two. By night, he's busy running memyselfandrobot.com, replaying a random Final Fantasy game, or pretending to be Batman. He currently resides in Upstate NY.

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