Nov. 7, 2012 at 3:01 PM ET
A robot inspired by one of nature’s most agile flying insects — the dragonfly — has darted out of the research lab and is taking dead aim at the consumer market. Imagine a personal robot that hovers above your head, taking photos of your adventures, peeking around corners for you, or challenging you to a new generation of real-world computer games.
The unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) was developed at Georgia Tech with $1 million in funding from the Air Force. The team behind it created spinoff company TechJect to bring the technology to the people.
Why do we need it? A promotional video on the crowd funding website Indiegogo shows how you can use it to make an aerial video of yourself schussing down the ski slopes, spy on the neighbors, or help protect your home.
Like its biological inspiration, the TechJect Dragonfly is able to hover in place like a helicopter as well as dart around the air with ease. Though big enough to fit in the palm of an adult's hand, it weighs less than an AA battery. The flight controller itself is lighter than quarter — and smaller than a stick of gum.
A lithium polymer battery provides 8 to 10 minutes of hover time and flight time of up to 30 minutes.
TechJect aims to raise $110,000 to get the project off its feet and sell various versions of the robot, from a $99 basic machine to $949 for dragonfly swarm. Check out their Indiegogo website for more information.
— via Gizmag