The next-generation micro air vehicles (MAVs) will surely blow your mind. The US Air Force is developing micro drones that have wings that can flap like a bird or insect. These devices will be deployed to monitor battlefields in the future
Elusive machines that infiltrate and monitor adversaries
One of the organizations that work on this cutting-edge MAV tech is the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), collaborating with Airion Health LLC that works with a 2014 patent in creating micro-vehicles that mimic insects' wing motions, reported the Daily Mail.
This machine is highly reactive and can position its wings in different directions. The wing strokes will react to the environment and will fly depending on the input it receives from the sensors that help the wings keep a stable flight.
Another amazing feature that the machine has is its drone position and velocity. With remote input from an operator, combining autonomous and controlled input, the micro drone can do whatever it is directed to do.
This new invention also has several common-sense applications. These include surveillance and monitoring, swarming function, and battlefield situational awareness, which provides commanders information on what happens on the ground.
It has become a major application for the defense department as noted by Airion, a firm tasked for the logistics and the micro drone technology for the Military and the private sector. If the US Air Force is developing micro drones then it must be crucial for some reason, per the Military.
The patent for the device
The Airion Healths patent license agreement comes from the Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA), located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
As per the contract between the firm and the US military, it was announced on Tuesday that a MAV prototype will be ready in 15 months when they begin research.
Joshua Laravie, the Technology Transfer Specialist and a program manager for the AFRL, will be one of the lead persons for this venture. He said that Airion will set the timeline to create the prototype within the budget and later the licensing for the MAV technology, as reported in What's New Today.
MAV is controlled with a remote console, which allows the flapping wing to achieve flight naturally like a bird or insect. This is essential for the successful operation of the micro drone in the field.
Generally, the drone will be a mechanical equivalent to the real thing which could work through the help of algorithms and programs.
Will it be really small?
The firm handling the project has not remarked how little it would weigh, but Airion is not saying anything yet about the specifics of the final project.
According to Laravie, the Air Force is looking forward to licensing the technology to a small business that has links to the drone industry.
One of the goals of the project collaboration between the firm and the Military is to have the tech commercially available for everyone.
Should we be worried about the application of MAV technology?
As stated, the US Air Force is developing microdrones that can mimic insects or birds. This technology will have applications for the military and the private sector, but its reliability will heavily depend on Airion's ability to develop it.