The militaries of the world always have the best toys, so if you were impressed by this tiny RC helicopter from Silverlit, you’ll be blown away by the PD-100 Black Hornet that British forces have been using for reconnaissance since last year. At just 16 grams it’s about the closest thing we’ve got to a remote controlled flying insect.
Developed by Norwegian-based Prox Dynamics AS, the Black Hornet — despite its impossibly tiny fuselage — flies for up to 25 minutes on a single charge, letting it cover about 1.2km at its top speed. And it’s completely autonomous too, using GPS to fly from waypoint to waypoint on its pre-defined route.
Unfortunately even the tiniest of night vision cameras are far too large for the Black Hornet to carry, so it’s designed to gather footage during daylight missions. But its creators claim its completely invisible and silent at distances over 10m, so despite only operating in the day, it can still stealthily gather intelligence because it’s just so tiny. As for pricing, it doesn’t look like Prox Dynaimcs AS intends to sell these to civilians. So here’s to hoping the company expands with a toy division that takes advantage of all the wonderful military tech it’s developed. [Prox Dynamics AS via LiveScience]