World's smallest camera carrying Micro Aerial Vehicle takes flight


July 28, 2008

The DelFly Micro

The DelFly Micro

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July 28, 2008 How often have you thought, “I’d like to be a fly on the wall in that room”. Well, a team at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands is hard at work trying to make that desire a reality by developing a Micro Air Vehicle (MAV), which they claim is the smallest flying, camera carrying ornithopter in the world. The DelFly Micro weighs just 3 grams and measures 10 cm from wing tip to wing tip. It has a range of 50 meters and is powered by a 30 mAh lithium polymer battery, which provides enough power for three minutes of fight time. To keep the weight of the unit down the wings are made from Mylar foil, while the body and frame is made up from carbon and balsawood.

Produced through the University’s DelFly Project the DelFly Micro improves on the original DelFly I, which had a size of 50 cm, and the DelFly II, which had a size of 28 cm, by bringing together knowledge from fields such as aerodynamics, mechanics, electronics, and camera technology, while the inclusion of the camera allows experimentation with new ideas from fields such as computer vision and artificial intelligence. The goal of the project is to keep reducing the size of the DelFly, while always ensuring flying performance and an on-board camera, with the ultimate goal of achieving flight without the intervention of a pilot. Might not be long before you can find out what those co-workers really think of you.

For further info visit the DelFly website.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick


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You have to wonder what the various Govt \"skunk works\" have gotten down to in size ... and not told us about! If any decent increase in range and endurance could be achieved, even with this model, it would be fantastic for the defence forces and police stake-out teams. Imagine one of these popping up above a wall to check on a suspect - virtually invisible! With 2-3 of them working in turn while recharging the others, a complete watch could be kept, presuming that the on-board camera was a transmitter (check the \"spygear\" shops on line ... even in Gizmag) to a base station with the hidden team.

The Skud
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