Over recent years a range of miniature drones, or micro air vehicles (MAVs), based on the same physic principles used by flying insects, have been presented to the public. While it may seem like something out of novel by the late techno-thriller author Michael Crichton, experts assert that the technology is indeed quite real and that the US government is probably already utilizing it for surveillance purposes, both abroad and within the country as well.
In 2008, US Air Force unveiled insect-sized spies as small as a bumblebee that could not be detected by conventional radar and would be able to fly into buildings to photograph, record, and even attack insurgents and terrorists. The Air Force also revealed what was dubbed "mini-lethal drones" the same year, allegedly designed by using Leonardo da Vinci's blueprints for his famed Ornithopter flying machine, and claimed they would be ready for roll out by 2015.
The goal of the new breed of surveillance craft is to combine swarm technology with bio-inspired drones to operate with little or no direct human supervision in a dynamic, resource-constrained, adversarial environment.
Scientists and military experts have often looked to the natural world as inspiration for terrestrial as well as space craft, integrating elements used by birds and insects to create the perfect flying machine.