Dragonfly-Emulating Robot Flies, Hovers, Collects Data

Continuing with the ever-increasing insect-mimicking technology being developed, the Techjet Dragonfly is a dragonfly-inspired flying unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) that flies, hovers and can collect a wealth of data with its onboard sensors.

The Dragonfly was developed by researchers at Georgia Tech with $1 million in funding from the Air Force. The design features four wings and is not too much larger than the real thing, measuring 6 inches long and weighing just 25 grams. It's powered by a 250 mAh lithium polymer battery that provides hover times of 8-10 minutes and a hybrid (hover/flight) time of 25 to 30 minutes.

If you're wondering just what this dragonfly drone can be used for, the creators write on Indiegogo, where they're raising funding, "The Dragonfly can be used for any task requiring live and mobile video feed; such as photography, home/workplace security, swarm robotics, advanced gaming and spying! And it does it with style with 5 technology patents delivering the extended performance improvement over other systems in the market. With up to 20 environmental sensors, cameras and GPS capabilities, it can be developed to track athletes & outdoor events, or integrated with an App as a fun way to retrace a day of skiing, hiking or whatever you like."

With that many sensors and hardware onboard the drones could be a mighty tool for the environment from monitoring air quality to using its cameras to watch for illegal logging or poachers.

The Dragonfly will be available in four models, each increasing in price and in performance and features: the Alpha will cost $250 and be the basic model, the Delta will be faster and cost $500, the Gamma will have more programmable features and will cost $750, and the Omega will be the the fully-loaded model going for $1,499.

You can make a donation to their Indiegogo campaign here and starting at a $99 pledge, you'll receive a Dragonfly if their goal of $110,000 is met.

Watch the video below for a full demonstration of the Dragonfly.

Dragonfly-Emulating Robot Flies, Hovers, Collects Data
The machine developed at Georgia Tech is the first UAV to use the dragonfly's four-wing design.

Related Content on Treehugger.com