What do you get when you cross a Predator drone and a hummingbird? For those times when a Predator is just too big for a backpack, some British troops can now deploy a new palm-sized drone equipped with a camera.
The 4-inch drone, called the Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Air Vehicle made by Norway-based Prox Dynamics, flies silently for up to 25 minutes and zips around at speeds up to 22 miles per hour. Although the inventor, Peter Muren started out designing those little R/C toy copters, don't expect to pick these up at Toys 'R Us -- each one cost $125,000.
After years of development, these Black Hornets withstand wind gusts and have been used to scope out snipers and sneak looks around obstructions to keep troops safe. A soldier can control the Black Hornet from up to half a mile away. Another navigation option uses GPS coordinates so the drone can plot a pre-planned route. It's even got a "hover and stare" mode.
No word on when Prox Dynamics will equip the drone with munitions so it can take out enemy pigeons.
Why would the US pay for British troops' supplies?
It's the U.K. Contoria, not the U.S.
I could poop and sell it to the government it's so dumb.
Anybody have $125,000 they could spare. I want one.
Who exactly are these "enemies?" How many countries are being infiltrated for resources regardless of extensive "collateral damage" to completely innocent humans by Amerika's Military Industrial Complex? This police state fascist regime being constructed to drown the already murky ideals of AmeriCan democracy sickens me and the fact that real journalism is muddied up by fluff and spin about how to deal with fake zombie apocalypses and "disease-causing" vegetables makes me sick. I used to respect this site but that's because I didn't know any better. I was hypnotized by the lore of the future to be distracted from the very real climate and geopolitical emergencies happening in the present. Stop distracting the American people from important things that are going on in this world, please. It's not all about a dollar bill. The future of the human race and it's escape from the feudalism we have lived within for thousands of years in the hands of everyone. Please speak out.
If they are only doing a limited production it could easily cost that much. Cost will go down with mass production.
somebody milked the government teat big time on that one. 125,000? couldnt cost more then 5,000 each to make.
WHAT?! Is this some sort of prank? Who in their right mind would pay $125,000 for something that I could break in my fingers? An have you people ever SEEN a little remote controlled helicopter before? You can barely fly them in a straight line without them careening out of control! And besides that, what could that thing possibly contain that is so much more valuable than a mere $30 helicopter of a similar size? I mean, there isn't much it could be, is there? You could buy six POUNDS of pure platinum for this thing, or a super high-tech Aston Martin, or a Czeck blimp, or an LSA helicopter that CARRIES PEOPLE, and so on and so forth.
I can only assume that the cost is sunk into the camera, computer systems and whatever the hell allows that thing to fly for 20 minutes. But still, wouldn't it be cheaper to just use those $30 helicopters, fitted with tiny cameras, and simply NOT RETRIEVE THEM? Unless, God forbid, these things are designed to be disposable! And there is no escaping it: these things WILL crash. A LOT. Wouldn't you rather buy 4,166 remote-control helicopters instead so that you can afford to not give a darn when it inevitably breaks?
Always defer to facts rather than speculation.
And they still lose the war.
@ J. James
JXD 355 3.5ch RC Helicopter.
SocialAnomaly, read the article. Point out how a Norwegian-designed device for British military use its your AmeriCan manifesto? Countries other than the US develop and use military tech.
JJames, didn't notice the details about soundless flight for up to 25 minutes or being unaffected by wind gusts, huh? Point out any of your $30 mini-copters capable of meeting those 3 specs.
Wow! I did not realize PopSci was supposed to be a social revolutionist tool. I'm pretty sure the publications main goal of showcasing new techs, no matter the field, has always been a top objective.
As far as the mini-copters go, theres a valid point to these seeming pricey. Ive flown similar when I was in the Army. These actually fly unlike our toy/hobby versions. With the toys, you're lucky if you get more than a few feet of flight, signal interference from everything. Plus, military versioned cameras have to broadcast live without being jammed or tapped into.