Video: Lockheed’s Amazing Monocopter Drone Takes Flight

Drones based on maple seed pods might act as portable scouts for soldiers

Drones have become big business for today’s military, whether they come in the form of Hellfire-spitting Reapers and Predators or large airships that can hover over battlefields. Then, there’s this small monocopter that flies like a maple seed pod.

The SAMARAI system from Lockheed Martin takes its name from the samara seedlings that fly off of trees. Original plans called for a seed pod-sized drone that could somehow send back stable streaming video and deliver a 2-gram payload. Funding for the system supposedly dropped out after a phase 1 DARPA contract, but now here’s this recent video of a larger test prototype with a 30-inch wing span.

[via BotJunkie]