by: Yoav Zitun
Thanks to year-long joint research between the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Israeli weapons manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the first tiny handheld drones are now operational in Israel.
These state-of-the-art drones, which are no bigger than 7.8 inches (20 cm) in size, can be used in a multitude of tasks, such as live intelligence gathering and reconnaissance, all without jeopardizing soldiers’ lives.
The drones were developed by computer science students, headed by Prof. Freddy Bruckstein of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
The drones are so small that they can be launched from the palm of the operator’s hand with a tiny, high mobility vehicle helping to control them from the ground. The crafts are relatively quiet and more than capable of performing multiple missions—assuming they make it back to their operator.
They are also relatively cheap to produce, with each costing no more than US $50—a deliberate precaution for cases in which the drones are forced to self-destruct in order to avoid falling into the wrong hands.
The drones are also fitted with sensors and tiny radars that help them independently orient themselves inside closed spaces, enabling them to avoid bumping into objects such as walls or doors.
In order to increase the intelligence-gathering capabilities of the drones, they are also fitted with night vision cameras, giving them the ability to conduct reconnaissance in the darkest of places.
“It’s science meets sci-fi,” says a spokesperson from Rafael. “These drones are but a small part of the wonders we build in our labs.”
Source: Excerpt from an article by Ynetnews
Photo Credit: fluke samed/shutterstock.com
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