News FocusAvionics

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a … Spy?

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  23 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6075, pp. 1433
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6075.1433

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


In 2011, AeroVironment unveiled a new crewless aircraft called the Nano Hummingbird. With a wingspan of 17 centimeters and a weight of 19 grams, the robot is hefty for a hummingbird. But it can hover in place and fly in any direction (including backward) as fast as 18 kilometers per hour. It can fly through doorways and be steered by a remote pilot using only video from an onboard camera. All of these abilities met or exceeded the targets for a second-generation "nano air vehicle" funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.