Military uses pocket-sized drones in battle

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Black Hornets
The Black Hornet nano drone can save lives by allowing troops to scout potentially dangerous places before they run into trouble.

If you ever happen to see remote-controlled helicopters small enough to fit in your pocket, don’t be alarmed. They’re called PD-100 Black Hornets, and these tiny aircrafts are the latest high-tech military gadgets.

The miniature drones were revealed to the American public for the first time last week at the Association of the United States Army Expo, and as you can imagine, they weren’t meant to be played with as toys.

In fact, the helicopters are really sophisticated cameras that can spy on the enemy during times of battle.

There won’t be any need to carry around all of the Black Hornet gear in the military’s robotic pack mule, either, since it can all be transported in a waterproof case for a total weight of 3 pounds.

That means the PD-100 Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System, which comes with two drones, a battery charging station, one viewing screen, and a remote control unit, can be hauled around quite conveniently!

Troops in Britain have already put the half-ounce helicopters to use in Afghanistan, where they stealthily peek over enemy walls and scout ahead to locate possible ambushes. Since the drones are so small, they’re practically invisible when flying at more than 30 feet up.  A UK Ministry of Defense official announced the system is “very easy to operate and offers amazing capability to the guys on the ground.”

Prox Dynamics – the Norwegian company responsible for making the mini helicopters – are already hard at work figuring out ways to improve the Black Hornets.

Images courtesy of UK Ministry of Defence on Flickr.