Thursday 24 July 2008

DelFly: Micro Air Vehicle Three Gram Dragonfly

The smallest flapping wing plane with camera in the world. Bart Remes and his team at the Technical University of Delft have just produced the smallest-ever flapping wing robot (ornithopter) with a built-in camera.

With a wingspan of just 10 centimetres, the DelFly could easily be confused with a real dragonfly. Here's a video of it in action, the small box in the bottom righthand corner of the video gives a DelFly's eye view of the world.

The 'dragonfly' has a tiny camera (about 0.5 grams) on board that transmits its signals to a ground station. The camera transmits TV quality images, and therefore allows the DelFly II to be operated from a computer. It can be manoeuvred using a joystick as if the operator was actually in the cockpit of the aircraft. The aim is to be able to do this with the DelFly Micro too.

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