How many times have we said "I'd like to be a fly on the wall and hear what X has to say!"? A lot, I would guess. And we can only imagine how useful the information we would gather could be! For an attorney it would be listening to an adversary, for a businessman it would be his competitor, for a spouse it would be their other half. And so it goes.
Well, the U.S. Military also has these fantasies as well, but with the resources of the Pentagon behind them they at least have a chance to see if it could really work. And that is exactly what they are doing! It turns out the military is designing a fly-on-the-wall robot that they can place anywhere they want and listen in to conversations imagined to be confidential.
This fly-on-the-wall robot is actually a micro aerial vehicle, or an MAV, and U.S. military engineers at Wright Patterson AFB are trying to design these little MAVs to resemble insects that can be sent in swarms into buildings where suspected terrorists or enemies are hiding and plotting. Designed to look like bumblebees they are envisioned as being able to fly into a building undetected and ferret out information from unsuspecting adversaries.
These devices would be the miniature equivalent of our UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles, we use over Iraq and Afghanistan - but much smaller of course! But before they get carried away the U.S. military is looking to start with robotic birds which could fly into an area, perch on a tree or telephone pole, and send back both audio and video feeds to managers. The goal is to produce these birds by 2015, and they hope to test them in a building at Wright Patterson dubbed the "micro aviary" for Micro Air Vehicle Integration Application Research Institute.
So the next time you want to have a private conversation take a close look around for the birds and bees my friend!
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
Today I saw a bumblebee.
He was on a pretty rose.
When I leaned in to look at him,
he stung me on my nose!
I wasn’t gonna squish him,
only watch and see …
but I’ll never get THAT close again
to a grouchy grumble-bee.