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Ultra-Light Micro Air Vehicles

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the eye-in-the-sky dept.

Robotics 143

Roland Piquepaille writes "Dutch engineers have built the third generation of the DelFly autonomous air vehicle. The DelFly Micro made its first public flight earlier today in Delft. This micro air vehicle weighs only 3 grams and has a wingspan of 10 centimeters. This very small remote-controlled aircraft carries a 0.4 gram camera. The DelFly Micro, which looks like a dragonfly, can fly for 3 minutes at a maximum speed of 5 meters/second. It could be used for observation flights in difficult-to-reach or dangerous areas."

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143 comments

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The BIG R is Back! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24316651)

Hi Rolland!

Re:The BIG R is Back! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24316847)

Fuck you. Don't encourage the turd.

Re:The BIG R is Back! (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 6 years ago | (#24319079)

I have an authentic question: why do people here hate Roland Piquepaille? It seems to be a general feeling, but he post some interesting stuff. So, why the hate?

Paging Danny Dunn... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24316667)

Danny Dunn [wikipedia.org] to the white courtesy phone, please ...

Re:Paging Danny Dunn... (5, Interesting)

QuantumHack (58048) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316705)

That's exactly what I was thinking! When I was 12, and I read Raymond Abrashkin's "Danny Dunn: Invisible Boy", I was mesmerized. And this mini UAV is essentially the plot device in the book, right down to the dragonfly appearance. Pretty good prediction for a book from the mid '70s.

Frased poast (1)

Mipoti Gusundar (1028156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316673)

I 4 1 am welcomming r new plagiaristical overload!

Video link: (5, Informative)

Sporkus (840586) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316677)

There's a video of the DelFly Micro in action here [youtube.com] . It takes flight about a minute and a half in.

Re:Video link: (5, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316685)

There is an assortment of additional video links on this page

http://www.tudelft.nl/live/pagina.jsp?id=1468ded9-96cb-47dd-aed3-da0a70a34813&lang=en [tudelft.nl]

Its like they are catering for everyone, because each link has a different format.

Practicality? (2, Interesting)

Scotteh (885130) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316779)

I imagine that this thing is pretty difficult to fly. With it going that fast, the camera would be jumping around all over the place. How can this practically be used for observation flights? You'd have to analyze it frame-by-frame.

Re:Practicality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24317185)

The same technology that allows police dash cameras to catch license plate numbers while bouncing around could be applied to this.

Thank you! (1)

ionymous (1216224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316763)

Why is it that articles are posted all over the net that say something is "unveiled" or "revealed" or "caught on video" or "photo captures" or "kinetic sculpture"...

and then no pictures or videos are shown!

What's wrong with people?

Actually... (1)

ionymous (1216224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316787)

Now that I see the video... again...
WTF!!
It's cool an all, but why wouldn't they capture the video coming from the DelFly itself and also show that?

Maybe it can't capture video and fly at the same time?

Re:Video link: (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316783)

OK, they win. I was going to moan about the refresh on the camera being inadequate, the flight time being useless, and the inability to hover meaning that it has two modes: flying, and crashing.

But having seen in action? Must... own... tiny... whirring... affront to God. Must.

Re:Video link: (4, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317287)

What I wanna know is: does it fly ok in, ahem, rainy or otherwise humid conditions?

Re:Video link: (3, Funny)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 6 years ago | (#24318903)

You may also want to check if the reflective surface of bathroom tiles mess with its navigation or imaging in any way.

Re:Video link: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24317011)

... and then a bird swoops in to eat it!

Has anyone given any thought to the chance that an expensive, flying robot designed to look like an insect might be taken out of the air by a bird?

Re:Video link: (1)

robotngineer (796099) | more than 6 years ago | (#24318297)

In other news, a cameraman fell down and split his head open after being driven dizzy chasing down a small mechatronic dragonfly....

I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (5, Funny)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316689)

You'd still notice this in the girl's shower.

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316703)

I know this sounds incredible, but it's actually possible to be in a shower with a girl in person without the aid of technology.

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316745)

Roofies are technology.

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (4, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316753)

I know this sounds incredible, but it's actually possible to be in a shower with a girl in person without the aid of technology.

If you're just naturally invisible? If you're both plumbers? C'mon, tell us how! Slashdot wants to know.

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24316777)

If you're both dirty?

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (1)

AnonymousDot (517935) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317367)

What about just asking her? That works for me most of the time. And when she doesn't want, ask her if she would prefer the cat...

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (4, Funny)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316771)

I know this sounds incredible, but it's actually possible to be in a shower with a girl in person without the aid of technology.

You must be new here.

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24317585)

I don't get it. Why is the entire thread modded funny and you're insightful?

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24318283)

you really are new here

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (1)

kipman725 (1248126) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316775)

ah the one situation when droping the soap might not be the worst idea.

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (4, Funny)

laejoh (648921) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316861)

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317009)

I know this sounds incredible, but it's actually possible to be in a shower with a girl in person without the aid of technology.

As scientist we have to trust the experiment to test the theory, and having just performed the experiment, I can tell you, you are wrong!

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24317071)

So, she phoned the cops then?
Damn girls and their paranoia.
We just want a hug... one little hug ._.

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24317069)

It's theoretically possible to travel back in time through wormholes. [wikipedia.org] , that's what i'd have my money on.

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (0)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24318925)

It is even more fun in person, with technology - something from her 'treasure chest' can make it way more fun. As Liza Minnelli put it: "Too much of a good thing can be wooonnnderful..."

Re:I'll wait for the Fourth Generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24319177)

Lenny: "The girls' school says I can't do that no more."

blown around by the wind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24316699)

5 meters/s is 10 mph, which is not much in terms of wind speed (about gale force 2). Or are these designed for use indoors?

Fetch me my flyswatter! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24316723)

I'll show this thing a dangerous area.

One for the Christmas List (1)

AmIAnAi (975049) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316733)

I do hope Santa has a good stock of these come Christmas time. I just have to persuade my wife I really do _need_ one of these.

Re:One for the Christmas List (2, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317693)

After looking at it in action, I still prefer the toy helis I got.

They're 50% longer and wider (so not much bigger), but they are 5 times heavier - 15g.

They look like this:
http://www.airsport.com.hk/ShowProduct.asp?id=380
(I didn't buy it from there though - it's just a link I got from google).

Trouble is the quality control is not very good, so either you get it at a shop where you can test it first, or you'd have to risk getting a dud. And even if it seems to work, there's no guarantee it'll continue to work for more than a few days.

I've got three, and one is faulty (it still flies but the motor or something is not smooth- blades stop spinning nearly immediately when you cut the throttle). And some of my friends had helis that stopped working after a few days (that said, I don't know how well they treated their helis ;) ).

The ones that work are pretty good fun. 3-channel = up/down, turn left/right, forwards and backwards.

Of course, they're not going to fool someone into thinking they're some insect. But the delfly micro doesn't fly like a dragonfly either. The only insects I can think of that fly like that are some moths (the larger ones).

BTW the summary appears to be wrong - the delfly does not seem to be autonomous at all - it is controlled by some human.

When I think of it, it's quite amazing how behind we are in tech- dragonflies are smaller, fly faster (50kph), fly for longer, are more manueverable, and are genuinely autonomous - they find their own "fuel" and even reproduce.

3 minutes? (3, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316765)

3 minutes is not very useful. By the time you reach your destination and actually get some good images, you've run out of time to return and have effectively lost your MAV. If they are meant to be throw-away, this is not a design flaw.

From my experience as an RC pilot, the smaller the craft, the more difficult it is to control. I would be curious to see how they've overcome the twitchiness of a such light weight.

Re:3 minutes? (2, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316821)

It doesn't looks as though they have overcome the twitchiness. Perhaps the idea is to buy them by the gross. You only need one to get through.

Re:3 minutes? (0, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317021)

^^^
s/have/haven't.

Not that it matters: it'll get modded as insightful, funny, and troll anyway.

Re:3 minutes? (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317609)

Something this small is always going to be blown about by the slightest of air currents anyway, so you need to be able to compensate for lack of 100% control. Same deal for real-life dragonflies, butterflies and even birds (even seen them trying to fly against a strong wind?), but this doesn't prevent any of these from being able to get where they want to and land on flowers, bits of grass or whetever. You just need appropriate control software.

Re:3 minutes? (2, Insightful)

DaveDerrick (1070132) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317117)

Assuming the 5m/s is correct, it could fly upto 900 metres in its 3 minute flight time. Surely thats enough to fly into a danger area & take a few snaps ?

Re:3 minutes? (1)

phillips321 (955784) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317427)

Proof of concept!
3 minutes isn't much, but imagine integrating solar power into this.....
Now imagine a cluster of these all flying autonomously......

Re:3 minutes? (2, Funny)

el_coyotexdk (1045108) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317813)

Cluster meet flamethrower... Flamethrower meet cluster!

Re:3 minutes? (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 6 years ago | (#24318325)

Now imagine a cluster of these all flying autonomously......

A Beowulf cluster, right? But can they even run linux?

Re:3 minutes? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24317923)

3 minutes is not very useful. By the time you reach your destination and actually get some good images, you've run out of time to return and have effectively lost your ...

Ahem. That's what she said.

What happens... (1)

skraps (650379) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316793)

What happens if one of these gets sucked into a jet engine? Are they small and soft enough to not cause problems?

Re:What happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24316899)

Jet engines are tested for durability with whole chickens. I think frozen chickens even.

Re:What happens... (4, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317037)

In an issue of Meat & Poultry magazine, editors quoted from "Feathers," the publication of the California Poultry Industry Federation, telling the following story:

The US Federal Aviation Administration has a unique device for testing the strength of windshields on airplanes. The device is a gun that launches a dead chicken at a plane's windshield at approximately the speed the plane flies.

The theory is that if the windshield doesn't crack from the carcass impact, it'll survive a real collision with a bird during flight.

It seems the British were very interested in this and wanted to test a windshield on a brand new, speedy locomotive they're developing.

They borrowed FAA's chicken launcher, loaded the chicken and fired.

The ballistic chicken shattered the windshield, broke the engineer's chair and embedded itself in the back wall of the engine's cab. The British were stunned and asked the FAA to recheck the test to see if everything was done correctly.

The FAA reviewed the test thoroughly and had one recommendation:

"Use a thawed chicken."

Re:What happens... (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317741)

1989 called, they said you can keep that one, they don't want it back.

Re:What happens... (2, Informative)

uglydog (944971) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317823)

copied from snopes [snopes.com]

Re:What happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24318109)

You mean it wasn't Nasa engineers testing the Space Shuttle windows with the Chicken gun BAC used for Concorde?? Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs!!

See what Snopes says.. [snopes.com]

Re:What happens... (1)

jeroen94704 (542819) | more than 6 years ago | (#24318143)

Didn't the Mythbusters bust this in one of the earlier seasons? If I remember correctly, the conclusion was that it doesn't matter if you use frozen or thawed chickens.

Re:What happens... (2, Interesting)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 6 years ago | (#24318679)

Actually, the first tests they did were inconclusive. They revisited it and eventually did find that frozen chickens had more penetrating power than thawed ones. The final test that was conclusive was several sheets of glass, and the frozen chicken broke more panes than the thawed one.
 
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_episodes:_Season_2#Episode_14_.E2.80.94_.22Myths_Revisited.22 [wikipedia.org]

Re:What happens... (1)

jeroen94704 (542819) | more than 6 years ago | (#24319005)

Still, the original story is pretty unlikely. In this regard, the relevant Snopes entry is interesting: http://www.snopes.com/science/cannon.asp [snopes.com]

Re:What happens... (2, Funny)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24318981)

Mythbusters used the wrong kind of airframe for testing. It does make a big difference. The flimsy little unpressurized airplane they used was going to break no matter what they fired at it. They did a re-do [discovery.com] of that test and concluded frozen was worse.

Part-23 aircraft (little airplanes) have to withstand a 2-lb bird hitting the windscreen at max flap speed. Part-25 aircraft (airliners) have to withstand an 8-lb bird hitting the empennage at cruse speed and a 4-lb bird hitting anywhere else including the wind screen at cruise speed. There is a whole aviation sub-industry devoted to testing and designing for bird impact.

In real life using a frozen chicken is a mistake nobody would ever make. I say this because in the bird impact business it is well known that bird density, a more subtle effect than frozen/thawed, is important. Chickens are more dense than flying birds and create higher peak impact transients. Chicken guns don't fire chickens any more, they fire freshly killed ducks or geese.

Re:What happens... (3, Funny)

dimension6 (558538) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317201)

Hm...I don't think they'll survive easily if they get sucked into a jet engine. They're kind of small and don't look that durable.

Re:What happens... (1)

mad flyer (589291) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317941)

I hate this kind of questions... They appear to look insightfull while they are close to trolling.

A jet engine is designed to swallow frozen chicken (or live birds) and you are scared by a 3g RC piece of dust that would not be powerfull enought to survive to the sheer suction force or even be able to get anywhere near a flying jet.

What's your next profound thought ? "what if bin laden get ahold of one of these OMG!!!!11!!!!" then he could carry... no payload... in a 3g plane with 3minutes range... might as well shave his beard and deliver by hand...

Next, OMG think of the children ?

Re:What happens... (2, Interesting)

skraps (650379) | more than 6 years ago | (#24318197)

Wasn't intended as a troll, I promise. :-) I was already aware that jets are tested with chickens, but chickens (bones included) are pretty soft compared to, say, batteries. And I think these could get pretty close to a jet on take-off or landing. Maybe you should re-read my comment and yours, and ask yourself which sounds more like a troll.

Re:What happens... (2, Insightful)

mad flyer (589291) | more than 6 years ago | (#24318979)

no, i actually sound more like a psychopath...

But still a rc model of 3g... even with battery... would hardly damage an engine.

Now, if they.... (2, Funny)

TwoTailedFox (894904) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316799)

.. equipped this thing with a small weapon, it would:

"Fly like a Butteryfly, Sting like a Bee".

Re:Now, if they.... (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316887)

I'll correct that for you:

"Float like a floatbot, sting like an automatic stinging machine!"

Why a dragonfly? (3, Interesting)

Blice (1208832) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316803)

I don't understand why they're trying to shape it after a dragonfly- There are more efficient ways of getting around the air than flapping wings. I mean, yeah, I get that it would be cool to have one that actually looked like a dragonfly for spying and such, but for getting into dangerous or hard to reach places it shouldn't be designed this way.

I think a really good example is this guy's plane [youtube.com] , he made it to be as light as possible and had to make his own motor for it. I think they should make one the size of this 'dragonfly' but with a propeller like the plane in the video.

Re:Why a dragonfly? (1)

spydink (256993) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316905)

Plus, a dragonfly design has already been done [wikipedia.org] by the ISIT probe.

Re:Why a dragonfly? (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317147)

Heh,

I remember reading that book as a kid! MAN I wanted one of those SO BADLY. And now I can finally get one! Although I think I'll skip the "setting fires with small dragonfly probe and destroying the probe in the process" part.

Re:Why a dragonfly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24316947)

Didn't anyone read Danny Dunn, Invisible Boy?

Re:Why a dragonfly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24316981)

Where can I get more detail about that plane in the youtube video?

AC

Re:Why a dragonfly? (2, Insightful)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317025)

I don't understand why they're trying to shape it after a dragonfly- There are more efficient ways of getting around the air than flapping wings. I mean, yeah, I get that it would be cool to have one that actually looked like a dragonfly for spying and such, but for getting into dangerous or hard to reach places it shouldn't be designed this way.

Yeah, the millions of species of insect and bird have got a lot to learn from us land lubbers. I mean, hovering in one position is a piece of cake for our mechanical devices, so much so that we can get a flight to anywhere we want and we don't need a runway. Oh, wait, we can't unless we use a helicopter, which is slow in the horizontal plane and noisy and fuel hungry.
Living things manipulate the air in much more elegant and finely controlled ways than anything man has produced. We mainly just force our way through it.

Re:Why a dragonfly? (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317537)

A dragonfly (both real ones and this one - did you watch the videos?) is a lot move maneuverable (can change direction on a dime) than a plane, and also for covert applications not going to draw attention since it really does look like a dragonfly and the only noise is the flapping wings.

I'm not even sure that the aerodynamics of plane would scale to this small, but this thing demonstrably does, and real-life dragonflys prove that this design does indeed work at smaller scales such as the 5cm they are targetting for the next iteration.

Re:Why a dragonfly? (2, Informative)

dtfusion (658871) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317759)

At small scales the Reynolds number ~ vL/nu gets smaller. So for a given velocity, smaller objects behave like they are in a more viscous medium. Flexible wings that "swim" through the air can be more efficient and more stable than fixed wings at such scales.

Re:Why a dragonfly? (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317857)

I think a really good example is this guy's plane [youtube.com] , he made it to be as light as possible and had to make his own motor for it. I think they should make one the size of this 'dragonfly' but with a propeller like the plane in the video.

What a radical design! They should make passenger planes with this style. :) I guess the Wright Bros. were onto something.

It sure seems a lot more stable, controllable, and elegant that the dragonfly. (Granted, it was larger, which adds stability, but it wasn't *that* much bigger.) The dragonfly seemed out of control most of the flight, nearly hitting floors, walls, ceilings, and the photographer.

The one you linked to seemed to have a STOL (short-takeoff-and-landing) style to it, allowing slow, controlled flight.

Re:Why a dragonfly? (1)

Ricken (797341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317947)

I guess a good reason is because its alot easier to control when outside. That guy's plane will definitely be uncontrollable when the slightest wind kicks in.

transverse the universe using newclear power (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24316813)

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(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

great for urban warfare (3, Interesting)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316895)

take a peek at who's around thecorner.. or who's lieing prone on the ceiling... heck, add 2 grams of explosive and use it as a diversion.

Insectothopter? (4, Interesting)

rocketman768 (838734) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316913)

Insectothopter? [wikipedia.org] CIA had these back in the 70s...very hard to control in winds over 5 knots though.

autonomous ? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316917)

I can't find the word autonomous anywhere in TFA and it's not surprising, considering that it's radio controlled. They "may" make it capable of self guidance in future, but at the moment it's not autonomous.
Nice long word though Roland ! Maybe you meant eponymous ?

Impossible! Slashdot SAID SO!!! (5, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24316955)

Does NO ONE ELSE remember THIS conversation:

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/11/131214 [slashdot.org]

Scroll through it and take in all the posts about how all the eye witnesses were CRAZY to have reported seeing "Dragonfly-Sized Insect Spies". Bathe in the impossibility of the batteries, the cameras, the wireless technology. Soak up how it simply was not even close to being true.

One of a short list of things must be the case:

A) That story from October certainly WAS plausible and a lot of you pundits are going to be dining on fresh hat today.

B) All the know-it-all's are still correct, due to some technicality.

C) I have somehow swapped dimensions again and no one ever said it didn't happen at all...

Re:Impossible! Slashdot SAID SO!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24317223)

pablo max called it:

"However, what is hard is keeping that little guy with power. I don't think that they have the batteries to power the flight of it, plus the gear to send the pictures back home and not to mention navigation controls. You could maybe manage 5min max for something so small, assuming it was really really light. I dont think 5 min is a useful time though. Who knows, maybe I am wrong though."

Re:Impossible! Slashdot SAID SO!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24317601)

Just because a tech has been demoed in a controlled environment, does not mean it is has been used in a real world scenario. It would be the same as saying "I saw a flying saucer!" and saying I told you so after seeing a test of a hovercraft.

As most have pointed out, the effects of the wind would put this in the unstable category for now. Plus, there is a thing the government has called "video cameras" that can be used from rooftops that provide a much clearer picture.

Impossible toys (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317895)

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=wowwee%20flytech&search-type=best&tag=coffeeresearch102885-20&index=blended&link_code=qs [amazon.com]

The link above shows several Wowee flying toys, yes they have flying fairies too. The dragonfly got me cause it was flying with flapping wings. They do not come with cameras, but they claim to hover and fly for longer times than the one in the article.

Re:Impossible! Slashdot SAID SO!!! (1)

FeatureBug (158235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24318579)

It's no secret there are some secrets that are necessarily kept secret in the national interest, there are people paid to keep them that way, and there are specific tools to counteract undesirable leaks such as disinfo, misinfo, etc.

Incidentally, micro UAVs similar to the dragon fly, but with micro-turbines, have been in production since at least the 1980s (no links).

And finally :-), we wish to reassure viewers that there is simply no truth in the rumors that fake UFOs have been produced and tested in many countries, and are behind many sightings of strange aerial objects [ufocasebook.com] .

Re:Impossible! Slashdot SAID SO!!! (1)

thrillhouse13 (1270916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24318823)

When our universities are turning out technology like this [youtube.com] , I don't find it unreasonable that our shady government isn't testing - or flat out implementing - technology like a dragonfly-sized insect spy on us.

A Mathman Prophecy (1, Insightful)

imstanny (722685) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317023)

The DelFly Micro, which looks like a dragonfly, can fly for 3 minutes at a maximum speed of 5 meters/second. It could be used for observation flights in difficult-to-reach or dangerous areas

How can it do that, if it only flies for 3 minutes?

Re:A Mathman Prophecy (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317109)

How can it do that, if it only flies for 3 minutes?

5 meters per second, 300 seconds. 1500 meters (just under a mile). I can think of a lot of times a group of soldiers might want to know what was going on within a mile of their location, say, over near that machinegun nest....

Re:A Mathman Prophecy (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317281)

I can think of a lot of times a group of soldiers might want to know what was going on within a mile of their location, say, over near that machinegun nest....

      (One 500lb bomb later)

      WHAT machine-gun nest?

Re:A Mathman Prophecy (5, Insightful)

splutty (43475) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317257)

I would say 500 meters straight up and over the edge of that cliff you're standing at the bottom of would definitely fall under 'difficult-to-reach'. And quite possibly be extremely useful to have one person there checking that out before you bring in say that helicopter...

A selection of robotic counter measures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24317047)

http://images.google.com/images?q=flyswatter&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wi

Hello Gentle Denizens of Slashdot (1)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317063)

I have a simple question and I must so humbly ask forgiveness for my ignorance but...

WHAT THE FUCK DOES OHNOITSROLAND MEAN FER CHRISSAKE

Re:Hello Gentle Denizens of Slashdot (4, Informative)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317173)

"Roland" is the submission whore that "blogs" (copies) stuff from all over, links to it, adds a simplistic comment then somehow gets that submitted to Slashdot.

He does it for ad revenue. Quite effective at it, and quite annoying for those great unwashed that don't suck Slashdot dick to get stories submitted.

Re:Hello Gentle Denizens of Slashdot (1)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317269)

Ah, you see? Now I know!

I must excuse my outburst, someone took the Vodka bottle from my bottom drawer so I had to get by with seven coffees this morning.

Perhaps I'll ask the janitor sleeping under my desk if he knows where the bottle went.

Air-to-Air missles? (1)

Evil.Bonsai (1205202) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317155)

Maybe it's just me, but I've seen lots of birds try to eat bugs that looked like that. Hope it has at least a couple of Sidewinders on-board, somewhere.

Re:Air-to-Air missles? (2, Funny)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317583)

Nooo it won't have Sidewinders, it will have a Stinger.

See cuz it's small.

Small right? Like a...

Bug...

Annnnnd...

<spontaneously implodes>

micro uav (2, Interesting)

TREETOP (614689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317435)

I've already built my own micro sized UAV. I used a Walkera 5G6 miniature RC helicopter ($80) and a wireless 2.4ghz ($25) camera with it's own (3x2032 coin cells!) power source. 100 meter range and 7 minute flight time. It's so quiet that at 20 meters away you cannot hear it and you can bareley see it at 50 meters. The inflight video is amazing, somewhat shaky but very watchable. And no, I will not post it. Google youtube for other examples done by other users. The Walkera tips the scales at about 90 grams loaded (3 ounces).

3 Minute Flight (1)

uniqueUser (879166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317535)

Keep trying! You can go longer! Just think of something else to distract yourself. Pretend you are flying over a dangerous area.

Practical use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24317615)

It looks like it only good inside with all the windows and doors shut or outside with wind speeds 1km/h.

Still, it looks fun to play with.

Vehicle? (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 6 years ago | (#24317695)

In that case, I have a large and impressive vehicle [wikipedia.org] collection!

I laugh at 3 grams (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24318671)

Radio control micro planes have been built here in the US by hobby people that weigh LESS than 1/2 gram

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