Sunday, November 29, 2009

A three gram spy plane

TU Delft has developed a Micro air vehicle, that weighs barely 3 grams, and with its flapping wings is very similar to a dragonfly. Ultra-small, remote-controlled micro aircraft with cameras, such as this DelFly, may well be used in the future for observation flights in difficult-to-reach or dangerous areas.

The DelFly Micro is a 'Micro Air Vehicle' (MAV), an exceptionally small remote-controlled aircraft with camera and image recognition software. The Micro, weighing just 3 grams and measuring 10 cm (wingtip to wingtip) is the considerably smaller successor to the successful DelFly I (2005) and DelFly II (2006). The DelFly Micro, with its minuscule battery weighing just 1 gram, can fly for approximately three minutes and has a maximum speed of 5 m/s.
Ultra-small remote-controlled, camera-equipped aircraft are potentially of great interest because they could eventually be used for observation flights in difficult-to-reach or dangerous areas.

The 'dragonfly' has a tiny camera (about 0.5 grams) on board that transmits its signals to a ground station. With software developed by TU Delft itself, objects can then be recognised independently. The camera transmits TV quality images, and therefore allows the DelFly II to be operated from the computer. It can be manoeuvred using a joystick as if the operator was actually in the cockpit of the aircraft.

Watch it live in action here:

For more details, visit the site: