Dutch scientists have unveiled the DelFly Micro, an insect-like robot that’s the world’s smallest camera-carrying aircraft. Despite being less than four inches long and weighing only 0.1 oz., the Del Fly is able to stream live broadcast-quality images and to reach speeds of up to 10mph. Features of the DelFly include ultra-light thermoplastic polymers, carbon fibre, a super small lithium polymer battery, and micro-circuitry. It’s Achilles heel is it’s short three-minute flight time.
Robotic camera drones are in high demand for military applications, but the DelFly micro isn’t battlefield-ready just yet. US Army personnel are looking for robots that have artificial intelligence and flight times of at least twenty minutes. There are many improvements being planned for the DelFly Micro, the next generation of DelFly’s will be half the size of the current model and the Dutch researchers have that “In the long term, we’re dreaming of an aircraft the size of a fruit fly.” That’s all well and good, but I just hope they figure out how to put mini-missiles on these bad boys sometime soon.