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back to article US robot ornithopter spy-hummingbird in flight test triumph

Amazing news from the world of tiny robot spy ornithopters today, as developers have announced successful flight trials of the tiny robot spy ornithopter "Hummingbird" prototype – so named perhaps because it is roughly the size of a hummingbird, weighs as much as a hummingbird and looks like a horse ... no, sorry, like a …

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Thumb Up

Seems remarkably stable!

Will it be on the market by Christmas?

(And when I say "on the market" I mean the market on our high street every Saturday and Tuesday)

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FAIL

When the Taliban cotton on...

...the avian population of Afghanistan is going to drop like a stone.

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Paris Hilton

Waiting for the swallow...

... because I want to see an ornithopter with a fair load-carrying capacity, e.g. a coconut.

Paris, because of the foregoing.

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Waitng for the swallow

African or Asian?

.

.

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Bronze badge

African or European

You have to know these things when you're a king

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Anonymous Coward

Ahahah, first time I hear it... today

"Paris, because of the foregoing"

Anyone still finds the "Paris because" jokes funny? In which case I can send my gran'pa over, you'll find him hilarious. It's a win-win situation because we find him unfunny and annoying.

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Pint

Dear Santa...

...please bring me a THOPTERCAM. Cam-O-Thopter?

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Silver badge

but...

I thought DARPA invented the Internet so that the population COULD see things like Paris playing Hide the Sausage

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Anonymous Coward

I'm sure that...

... they are already selling these down Preston shopping center. Every time I walk through St Georges there's always a girl there walking round her stand with the latest radio controlled helicopter / bird / wasp / butterfly / flying saucer. Only costs about 20 quid too. Now if only I can attach my Iphone to it I can do the neat video in the top left corner trick :)

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Pint

power-source? flight time?

Now why do I doubt that the one pictured runs all day on small sips of sugar water? (or other forms of liquid refreshment)

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Hummingb...

...and what's its endurance? Any longer than that video?

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Boffin

...ird's flight time

Is apparently in excess of eight minutes - that being the minimum performance requirement from DARPA according to the press release.

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FAIL

Several flaws...

I bet it makes a devil of a noise though and battery life will be less than an hour.

Maybe why that video was muted?

It also needs a much better resolution camera.

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Muted?

The video I saw, and listened to, has sound -- and it buzzes pretty much as loudly as you would expect, so it's not "stealthy".

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Stop

Is this going to lead to....

More of those "paranoid Arabs killing birds" stories? Think of the collateral damage to the actual world hummingbird population!!

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Thumb Up

Whoa!

And it actually looks like a humming bird. Nice touch. I wasn't expecting that.

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Black Helicopters

Pablo, were you expecting it to look like

a horse?

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Joke

@Martin Budden

I dunno, that might be highly effective. If someone was reporting a flying horse to their higher ups, I wouldn't tend to put much stock in it.

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Boffin

flapping wings?

looks more like a ducted fan with wings used as disguise or stabilty control than ornithopter.

flight time 90 seconds ?

Still an achievement for that weight.

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Oh dear

This could easily be the most popular cat toy to ever be invented.

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Black Helicopters

RE: Oh dear

DARPA produces superhightech-hummingbird-spygadget at $x00,000 a pop, Taleban shrug and buy dozens of kittens at the Peshawar market for a few Rupees each.....

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Power supply

Looks very convincing, but I suspect it's powered externally - at 1:32 you can see something like a fine wire glinting in the sunlight. Still, impressive bit of kit and I'd be happy to get one for Christmas - although maybe if they have a chaffinch model it'd look less out of place round my way.

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Go

The wires are what it lands on...

See title...

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The wires are what it lands on...

Ah yes - on closer inspection it seems you are right, there is some kind of springy wire tripod arrangement for it to land on. Neat!

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@ Power Supply

The glint seems to come from a revolvable weighted arm visible also at 1:28; some sort of balancing or orientation mechanism, perhaps.

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Does it 'Tweet'?

Interesting demo - I expect there'll be a big following on the birdseed, sorry - birdbrain, site.

Congrats to the developers, it must have been fun developing it.

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Paris Hilton

slinky Russian secret-agent-cum

that's quite enough.....

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I hope it looks like a boy humming bird

Or there could be some really interesting video feeds during mating season

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Anonymous Coward

rubber-band powered in 1987

Street vendors were selling these in Aachen and Paris in 1987. So its only taken 20+ years for the battery/cpu/gyro tech to catch up.

Of course they were annoying back then too.

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