Technology Update (March 2016)

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A microdrone, the spying tool of the future

US Air Force’s micro aerial vehicle
US Air Force’s micro aerial vehicle

A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University, USA, in conjunction with US Air Force Office of Scientific Research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Arlington, Virginia, is helping develop what they are calling a micro aerial vehicle (MAV) that will undertake various espionage tasks.

The robotic insect can effortlessly infiltrate urban areas, where dense concentrations of buildings and people, along with unpredictable winds and other obstacles make it impractical. It can also land precisely on human skin, use its super-micron size needle to take DNA samples and fly off again at speed. All people feel is the pain of a mosquito bite without the burning sensation and the swelling.

The device can inject a micro radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking device right under the skin and can be used to inject toxins into enemies during wars. The device can be controlled from a great distance and is equipped with a camera and built-in microphone.

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