Insects Robocop’s: Government Insects Drones

dragonfly drone

BionicOpter dragonfly drone flutters about, blows minds

When New York college students attended an antiwar rally in Lafayette Square they were convinced they saw small flying machines that were “definitely not insects” hovering above.

Bernard Crane, a Washington Lawyer, saw them too and said he had never seen anything like them in his life.

These sightings are among a group of sightings occurring in Washington and New York. Some observers think the unidentified flying objects may be miniature high tech surveillance tools set loose by the Department of Homeland Security to observe protests. Others say that the devices are just dragonflies, despite observers’ insistence that the flying entities are not insects at all.

Entomologist interviewed believe the entities to be black dragonflies, based on descriptions. The dragonfly population of Washington “can knock your socks off” according to one entomologist. Unfortunately, the entomologists could not explain the bulb shape attachments to their tails that many reported seeing; nor could they explain their organized flight which was widely reported by observers.

Dragonflies do not fly in packs, according to entomologists. None of the various government organizations, have admitted to deploying robotic spy bugs over the U.S., but many of these organizations and private companies they contract with acknowledge that they are actively pursuing the technologies to make it possible.

Some government organizations are not looking to redesign nature, but rather to modify it. They are growing special live insects with computer chips in them that control the insects’ nervous system.  The insects could also be made to carry devices, like miniature wireless cameras.

delfly_microsCheck out the at some of the impressive footage of the DelFly II, a craft built by a team at the Delft University of Technology. This video includes some footages from the DelFly’s camera; there’s more video here and here.

These robobugs could have a plethora of uses, including crawling after sneaky suspects, guiding our missiles, or exploring collapsed structures–and perhaps snooping on protesters.

Gary Anderson the Defense Department‘s Rapid Reaction Technology Office, when questioned by interviewers about if such drones existed responded, “If you find something, let me know.”

Tom Ehrhard, a retired Air Force colonel, specializing in unmanned aerial vehicles admitted that the U.S. government can be pretty sneaky.

The armed forces have been using robotic fliers since World War II and currently have 100 official models ranging from the size of planes to the size of birds.  These models flew 160,000 flights last year, according to official estimates. Recent reports by the Army suggest that these unmanned flights may make air travel hazardous, with their increased frequency.


It appears that designing robobugs is a bit harder than robotic planes though.  However, Insect flight research at Cornell University has been able to fully explore how dragonflies fly. The research revealed how the dragonflies conserve energy while hovering by fine wing adjustments.  Such discoveries could help future robobugs hover in place while they watch their mark.

Robot Insect Spies

The CIA developed a gas powered dragonfly robot in the 1970s, which was declared a failure when it could not handle the crosswinds. It was powered by four small wings. The CIA’s spokesman George Little said he could not comment on what the Agency had been working on since.

While these strange sightings will certainly raise the paranoia level, they bring to light the large amount of fascinating research into Autonomous Aerial Vehicles. DARPA declared that they are hard at work implanting moth pupae with computer chips to make “cyborg moths” when the pupae emerge from their protective casing. moth dronesThe DARPA: Hybrid Insect Micro Electromechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) hopes to allow researchers to grow insect nerves into silicon computer chip connections to allow the insects to be remote controlled like RC airplanes.  DARPA researchers also are raising cyborg beetles.

At a scientific symposium in August of 2009 DARPA program manager Amit Lal announced the following: “You might recall that Gandalf the friendly wizard in the recent classic ‘Lord of the Rings’ used a moth to call in air support. Today, this science fiction vision is within the realm of reality.”

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6 thoughts on “Insects Robocop’s: Government Insects Drones

  1. Pingback: DARPA Hybrid Insect MEMS (HI-MEMS) | Back Country Voices


  3. Pingback: A Flock Of Flying Drones | Back Country Voices

  4. Pingback: Insects Robocop’s: Government Insects Drones Patriotism today... | Patriotism today...

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