The Mini Drone
British troops in Afghanistan are flying a drone that’s shrunk down to its essentials: a micro-machine that spies, built for a solitary user.
This is the Black Hornet. Its Norwegian manufacturer, Prox Dynamics, bills it as the world’s smallest military-grade spy drone, with a weight of 16 grams and a length of 4 inches. Propelled by two helicopter blades, the Black Hornet carries little more than a steerable camera that records still and video imagery. (That is: It’s unarmed.) Now British soldiers have brought it to Afghanistan, as it fits in the palms of their hands. It’s supposed to be a drone for an Army of One.
“We use it to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing, which is a real asset,” Sgt. Christopher Petherbridge of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force told the British Ministry of Defence for a Monday announcement.
Image: British Army Sgt. Scott Weaver launches a Black Hornet drone from a compound in Afghanistan. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence, via Wired.