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China uses “Dove” drones for surveillance!

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Specs

The 200-gram dove drone has a wingspan of about 20 inches, and it is rated to fly up to 30 minutes, which is similar to consumer drones today. Instead of a fixed-wing design or rotating rotors, dove drones have wings that are made to flap. The spy UAVs can also avoid radar detection while it flies at speeds up to 25 mph, and they’re so life-like that other birds have been reported to fly besides them.

dove drones

Picture credit: South China Morning Post

Yang Wenqing, an associate professor from the School of Aeronautics at Northwestern Polytechnical University, has confirmed that the dove drone is being used today but on a small scale, according to Daily Mail.

 

“We believe the technology has good potential for large-scale use in the future… it has some unique advantages to meet the demand for drones in the military and civilian sectors,” said Wenqing.

 

The team behind the dove drone has conducted nearly 2,000 test flights to simulate real-life conditions. It is being further developed for potential police and military use, and researchers believe it can even be used for emergency response and disaster relief.

 

Even though the bird-like drone is already being used for surveillance, they are still prone to crashing in strong winds, heavy rain or snow.

Photo credit: CIA.

Nature-inspired spy drones have been used for decades now; even the CIA was experimenting with a dragonfly drone as far back as the ‘70s. There are bird-like drones designed for the consumer market, but China’s dove drone stands out as a model of tomorrow’s spy drones.

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