When we talk about drones, most of the time we think of the Predator – this huge winged beast the flies like a remote controlled plane, making war seem more like a video game compared to the visceral air experience that combat pilots of both World Wars had to go through. Well, it seems as though the wonders of miniaturization has struck again, this time around with the SQ-4 nanodrone making an appearance, while earning the nickname of being one of the “smallest unmanned drones” in the world. Surely we can’t argue with its minuscule size of a Frisbee in diameter, allowing it to fit into the palm of your hand.
Don’t be fooled by its size – the SQ-4 UAV does more than just surveillance, it is also able to hover in place perfectly well, while perching on ledges when required, and making the trip back to its home base whenever the on-board circuitry detects that it is running out of juice. Developed by a team at London’s Middlesex University’s Autonomous Weapons Laboratory, this nanodrone debuted this fall at the Defence & Security Equipment International conference in London. It will be available in two variants at the moment, where a full-function “recon” model will boast a couple of cameras, tipping the scales at 7 ounces while boasting of a 4,900-foot flying range.
As for the other model, it will be an extremely small one, toting just a solitary camera as well as being a real featherweight at 2.9 ounces, featuring a 1,640-foot flying. No idea on when these will take off on actual duty though.