Who knows how many times you must have been thinking “I wish I was a fly” to be able to see or listen to what happens in a room when you are away, without being seen, heard or noticed… After all, being able to watch or listen without others being aware is one of mankind’s great aspirations. To make this dream come true, the University of Delft, in the Netherlands, is working on a project called DelFly.
DelFly Micro is a Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV), with a weight of just 3 grams and a wingspan of 10 centimeters, powered by battery and capable of flying up to a distance of 50 meters with a battery life of approximately 3 minutes. Wings are made up of sheets of Mylar, a polyethylene film notable for its high tensile strength, while the frame is made of carbon and balsawood.
DelFly is of course still in an experimental stage; the objective of this experimentation is to fully understand and analyze the aerodynamic characteristics and potential of such kind of vehicles (the so-called ornithopters) in order to use it, equipped with a state-of-the-art ultralight microcamera, for experiments in fields such as computer vision and artificial intelligence. The final goal of this project is achieving a certain range of flight without a pilot, with a mounted microcamera.
The DelFly microcamera is a particular model, in terms of reduced size and weight, which promises to become the new standard in the miniature flying robots field. So, pay attention, one day it might prove useful to find out what your colleagues really think about you!