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Dragonfly-Sized Insect Spies Spotted, Denied 433

SRA8 sends in a Washington Post piece about work at various academic, government, and military labs on insect-sized flying spies. A number of people reported what appeared to be flying mechanical insects, larger than dragonflies, over an antiwar rally in Washington DC last month. The reporter got mostly no-comments from the agencies he called trying to pin down what it was they saw. Only the FBI said through a spokesman: "We don't have anything like that." The article describes work on insect cyborgs as well as purely mechanical flying spies, but quotes vice admiral Joe Dyer, former commander of the Naval Air Systems Command now at iRobot in Burlington, Mass., as follows: "I'll be seriously dead before that program deploys." The article also mentions an International Symposium on Flying Insects and Robots, held in Switzerland in August, at which Japanese researchers demonstrated radio-controlled fliers with four-inch wingspans that resemble hawk moths.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.