As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Robot bird flies like a real one and could soon be conducting video surveillance for the army

The 'Robo Raven' is a lightweight advanced robot that can fly like a bird
It has been developed by searchers at the University of Maryland and received funding from the U.S. Army
Has the potential to be used as a drone for reconnaissance and surveillance

PUBLISHED: 23:48, 21 June 2013 | UPDATED: 23:55, 21 June 2013

Researchers at the University of Maryland have developed a breakthrough in engineering technology that allows a robot to successfully achieve the complex aerobatic maneuvers of a bird.

The artificial bird is destined to have a military or surveillance purpose, the UMD Robotics Center, which sits within the University of Maryland, has received funding from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

The robot bird has the potential to become a more advanced type of drone, it includes a tiny video camera and could be used for reconnaissance and surveillance.

'Robo Raven' is much quieter than the helicopter or propeller, so it could get much closer to an adversary without revealing its presence.

It is made out of carbon fiber, 3D-printed lightweight thermal-resistant plastic, Mylar foil and foam and weighs less than a can of soda.

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