This Is A $US2.1m Robot Hummingbird And It May Save Your Life

This tiny, flying robot flaps its wings 30 times per second - just like a real hummingbird - and will one day save lives by searching for survivors in wreckage and spots inaccessible by humans.

So far, the development of this hummingbird has cost $US2.1 million and that number's growing. Japanese researchers are hoping to make the robot hover at a point in mid-air - just like the bird which inspired it - as they control it using infrared sensors. Once they manage that and add a tiny camera, they imagine that the robot will "be used to help rescue people trapped in destroyed buildings, search for criminals or even operate as a probe vehicle on Mars."

A space-exploring, human-saving, crime-stopping robot bird? Brilliant. [PhysOrg via Engadget]

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