The pentagon has been said to work on robotic spying insects and has probably tried rat-mounted cameras, but this maple seed camera is one of the most interesting project to date. Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to develop this device. The final version would contain an engine, telemetry, imaging sensors and… power of course.
If completed as planned, swarms of these could be released to get very fine information gathering – much finer than what’s possible today with a drone. They could find “a needle in a haystack” says Ned Allen, chief scientist at Lockheed’s fabled Skunk Works research arm.
For you and I, such gadgetry isn’t available, but you could have fun with the Mapple Seed Whirlwind Copter ($7).