The Naval Research Laboratory created a smaller, less expensive version of the drone, that everyone wanted to attach their go-pro camera on, but because of its size, this micro-drone does not come with a video camera, nor with a propulsion system.
In fact, the micro-drone is actually so tiny, it can fit into your hand and can be used for multiple purposes including locating enemies and detecting movement, of course if such sensors are attached to it.
If you equip the micro-drone with a microphone and place it in a convenient spot, you might also get to record conversations and if you put a video camera on it, you might be able to film the surroundings.
The name of the newly developed micro-drone is Cicada and they are quite similar in their appearance to the insect they were named after, but truth be told, US military scientists said that the name stands for Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft.
The cicada makes a lot less noise than the bigger drones we are accustomed to and it can easily be placed in an enemy camp from where it can transmit vital information about what plans are being made.
The Cicada drone is not actually designed for flight, but rather to be dropped from a high altitude. However the micro-drone has the ability to glide, at a speed of about 46.5 m.p.h. and land within 15 feet from its GPS programmed target, thus making it a precise spying device.
Cicada is also a rather inexpensive piece of equipment, rounding up at nearly $1000, but after entering mass production, the price is expected to drop as low as $250.
Thanks to its small size, cheap price and quietness, the cicadas can be placed all over the world without them drawing any attention and despite their fragile appearance, they are quite resilient to harsh weather conditions and mechanical shocks.
Still, after being tested in desert areas, scientists have come to realize that the micro-drone`s worst enemy is the desert shrub, from which it cannot escape if it gets tangled in.
Until the cicada is approved for military use, it can be of great helps in the meteorological field as a sensor. Most meteorological sensors are placed on the ground and cannot do accurate readings of weather conditions at high altitudes, making this the perfect opportunity to test what the micro-drone can really do.
All government agencies are said to be interested in the micro-drone and are waiting to see just how soon they will be approved for use.
Image Source: piercepioneer