It weighs 16 g, can fly for up to 20 minutes, and fits in the palm of your hand. It’s the Prox Dynamics PD-100 Black Hornet, a mini helicopter which uses embedded cameras and a digital data link to provide real-time video for ground troops.
Ever been on a hike with 70-100 pounds strapped to your back? It sucks. Trust me. Our brave servicemembers tote heavy loads regularly (especially in a warzone), so any “additions” can’t weigh them down further. And at .035 lbs, the PD-100 Black Hornet provides a valuable service without burdening anyone.
The PD-100 was already issued to the UK Armed Forces last year, and early returns are promising. The company will need to initiate a data-link redesign to make the pocket-sized ‘copters compatible with the US Army's tactical network.