Who knows what kind of craziness the CIA is working on now, but back in the 1970s, the goal was to perfect a robotic dragonfly. Now, 40 years later, you can see footage of the prototype in action.
The insectocopter’s job would have been to deliver listening bugs used to surveil unsuspecting targets, but the little drone could never quite manage to hold its own against crosswinds so the project was eventually scrappped. Had it not been, we probably wouldn’t be hearing about it today.
The insectocopter isn’t the only declassified CIA project you can see in action; they’ve got a robot fish named Charlie too. It’s anyone’s guess what we’ll find out the CIA was working on when they declassify modern day projects in the future, but let’s hope it’s something cooler than “a better robot fish”. [IEEE Spectrum]