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US Army’s new robotic bird drone too realistic

Last Updated: Friday, June 7, 2013 - 14:55

Washington: A robotic bird created for the US Army for being used as a miniature spy drone is so convincing that it has been attacked by hawks and eagles, according to researchers.

The solar-powered, remotely piloted surveillance aircraft, called Robo-Raven, was designed and built at the University of Maryland`s Maryland Robotics Center, reports the Washington Times.

John Gerdes, a mechanical engineer with the Vehicle Technology Directorate at the US Army`s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, said that the Robo-Raven already attracts attention from birds in the area which tends to hide its presence.
Seagulls, songbirds and sometimes crows tend to try to fly in formation with the robotic bird during testing, but birds of prey, such as falcons and hawks, take a much more aggressive approach, he said.

The Robo-Raven `s wings flap completely independently of each other and can be programmed to perform any desired motion, enabling the bird to carry out aerobatic flight maneuvers, such as diving and rolling, never before possible, Gerdes said.

First Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 - 14:55

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