I suppose that the military has been looking for more remotely piloted aircrafts since the MQ-1 Predator, and it appears they have been going to colleges for their next one. They have given the University of Michigan a $10 million dollar grant to come up with a “six-inch robotic spy plane modeled after a bat”.
I don’t know if the picture to the left here is their prototype, but you have to admit that it certainly looks neat. Not only is the COM-BAT (it’s official name?) designed for reconnaissance, but the military wants it to “gathers data from sights, sounds and smells in urban combat zones and transmit information back to a soldier in real time”.
This means no more going into enemy territory as blind as a bat. Okay, that was a bad joke, but it was too hard to resist. However, if you had an infrared lens in that COM-BAT, you could send a whole fleet of these things in, and the people you’re spying on may be none the wiser.
Believe it or not, this COM-BAT is planned to have energy scavenging potential, so it could be powered by wind and solar energy. That means it could stay in the air indefinitely, provided it has enough wind and sun. Other planned features are miniature microphones, as well as detectors for picking up nuclear radiation and poisonous gases.
Well, if this project doesn’t work, then maybe Batman would be interested in it. Just one of those coming at the Joker could be enough to make even him frown.