A conceptual insect robot


If you are talking about big boys’ toys, then surely being part of the military’s hush-hush research and development team would place you squarely in the front line of being able to play with such new technology. While UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have done their bit in wars across the world to be able to scout enemy territory without putting human lives at risk, they are large – and unwieldy at times. What happens when one wants to perform a delicate operation that has a far more covert objective? This is where miniature sized robots come in handy – and insect drones could be the answer to this question.

The extremely tiny remote controlled vehicles that are based on insects will most likely have been deployed in sensitive areas to date, where these are called the micro air vehicles (MAVs), and will share similar physics as that employed by flying insects. The US Air Force claims that these insect robots will be no larger than your average bumblebee, and cannot be detected with the naked eye at a quick glance, especially when it is flying around. It would be more interesting if these insect robots had a mechanical stinger to deliver some sort of drug or poison to carry out covert assassinations, no? Definitely the stuff of science fiction from decades ago, brought to life.

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