Hummingbird Drone

A video from the PBS Show “Nature”, shows a very clever drone which looks like a Hummingbird. This is how it can get so close to the Monarch Butterfly swarm. The butterflies do not see a Hummingbird as a threat. The Hummingbird Drone is designed so moving parts are shielded. This keeps the butterflies safe. They can fly around and even land on the drone without harm.

Half a billion butterflies are gathered together and sleeping until it gets warm enough for them to fly. And when the temperature rises to 50 degrees F, they fly away.

Matt Keennon and the team at AeroVironment built a drone that beats its wing like a bird. Unlike any other drone the Nano Hummingbird is very quiet and extremely maneuverable. They fly forward, backward, sideways, left, right, and rotate at the same time. There are only two moving parts the two wings.

A live hummingbird flaps its wing forward at an angle to generate the upward thrust required to hover. 80 times a second. Tough for a mechanical aircraft to do, but the Hummingbird Drone can do about 30 flaps a second and is quite maneuverable.

The Hummingbird Drone weighs only 19 grams which is less than a double A battery. With its video camera and ability to fly close to the ground, it is almost like a spy. But it has a very short range and very short endurance.