Friday, 18 Feb, 2011 Technology
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Latest Invention: Nano Hummingbird - Tiny Unmanned Aircraft System

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AeroVironment, a company with headquarters in California, is responsible for the largest, highest and longest unmanned aircraft system in the world called Global Observer.

Recently the firm managed to develop a "Nano Hummingbird" that boasts high precision hovering and fast-forward flight. It would be interesting to note that by flapping its two wings, the robotic bird can carry its own power source. The wings are also used for propulsion and control.

The final demo version of the Nano Hummingbird has a wingspan that measures 16 centimeters (6.5 inches) and its weight is 19 grams (2/3 oz). The most impressing fact is that the company was able to introduce in this little device all the systems that are needed for flight, such as batteries, motors, communications system and a video camera.

The Nano Hummingbird is able to go up and down vertically, fly sideways left and right, forward and backward and even rotate clockwise and counter-clockwise. Everything is performed via a remote control. The robotic bird can also do a 360-degree loop.

It is worth mentioning that the Nano Hummingbird represents a part of the Phase II contract that was awarded to AeroVironment by DARPA. The idea was to develop a "hummingbird-like" aircraft for the Nano Air Vehicle program, reports Gizmag.

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