an.echte.trilingue writes: "The Economist has an interesting article about the future of unmanned flight. From the article:
I personally wonder when airlines will adopt this technology."Having evolved from military use, drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are taking to the air in increasing numbers for public-service and civilian roles. They are being operated by groups as diverse as police, surveyors and archaeologists. A UAV helped firemen track the blaze that recently ravaged southern California.(...) [Researchers at Harvard University] are working on a fly-like robot which weighs only 60 milligrams (0.002 ounces) and has a wingspan of just three centimetres — about the size of a real fly and so most unlikely to be noticed. This means going beyond scaling down existing components, like electric motors, and trying entirely new manufacturing processes. The Harvard "fly-bot" has flown, but so far only on a tether from which it gets external power.