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U.S. Air Force Developing Terrifying Swarms Of Tiny Unmanned Drones That Can Hover, Crawl And Even Kill Targets

February 20, 2013 | Telepresence Options

dronepigeon.jpg

Perching: The video, released by the Air Vehicle Directorate, shows a pigeon-like drone that can draw power from an electrical wire while its camera watches a target.

  • Air Vehicles Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, is already developing prototypes of tiny drones that can hover

  • The Micro Air Vehicles will work in swarms to provide complex surveillance of a battlefield

  • They can also be armed with incapacitating chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives 'for precision targeting capability'

By Michael Zennie, Mail Online

The U.S. Air Force is developing tiny unmanned drones that will fly in swarms, hover like bees, crawl like spiders and even sneak up on unsuspecting targets and execute them with lethal precision.

The Air Vehicles Directorate, a research arm of the Air Force, has released a computer-animated video outlining the the future capabilities of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). The project promises to revolutionize war by down-sizing the combatants.

'MAVs will become a vital element in the ever-changing war-fighting environment and will help ensure success on the battlefield of the future,' the narrator intones.

'Unobtrusive, pervasive, lethal - Micro Air Vehicles, enhancing the capabilities of the future war fighter.'

The project, which is based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was revealed in the March issue of the National Geographic magazine.

Air Force officials said they have already produced tiny remote-control prototypes - but they consume so much power that can only operate for a few minutes. Researchers estimate that it will take several years of advances in battery technology to make the designs feasible.

Still, the Air Force has a clear concept of what it hopes to accomplish with the program.

The promotional video begins with a swarm of tiny drones be dropped on a city from a passing plane. 

The drones will work in concert to patch together a wide, detailed view of the battlefield - singling out individual targets without losing sight of the broader scene. 

'Data will be communicated among the MAVs to enable real time, reliable decision-making and to provide an advanced overall picture for other platforms or operators,' the Air Force says.

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