Researchers at the University of Maryland, funded by the U.S. Army, may have just taken drone warfare to the next level.
The Robo-Raven is a robotic bird, with wings that can flap independently of one another. This technology makes the aircraft appear like a live bird.
In fact, a YouTube video from the University of Maryland Robotics Department shows the Robo-Raven in flight, a flight so lifelike that the machine gets attacked by a hawk at 1:49 in the video.
“Our goal is to create a robotic bird that can do things that have never been done before,” Dr. S.K. Gupta, a professor at UMD’s Robotics Department, says in the video.
The tactical potential is outstanding. In Iraq and Afghanistan, insurgents have been known to bury weapons or disperse when they see or hear surveillance drones doing low passes. With the technology harnessed by the Robo-Raven, a surveillance drone could hover overhead and no one would have any idea.
Check out the Robo-Raven in action:
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