The tiny drones fit into the palm of your hand and are designed to deploy from soldiers’ utility belt.
Military forces have been testing the 18-gram drones, which feature both regular and thermal cameras. The PD-100 Black Hornet drones are manufactured by Norway’s Prox Dynamics.
Tiny drone carried on your belt
U.S. special forces expressed their interest in adding the tiny drones to their arsenal a few months ago, and are now acting on that intention. Drones continue to get smaller and more sophisticated, with a growing number of commercial drones being released of late.
Prox Dynamics says that the PD-100 will provide a clear video stream in real time, and boasts a maximum flight time of 25 minutes. As well as impressive technical specifications, the PD-100 is highly portable and launches from a box which attaches to a utility belt. The box also stores data sent from the drone in case the vehicle itself is compromised.
Soldiers can fly the drone using a controller reminiscent of video games, or it can be programmed to fly to certain pre-selected points. The British Army has been using the PD-100 in Afghanistan, and now it is the turn of the U.S. Army to evaluate its capabilities.
Black Hornet drones a boon for British soldiers
Commanding officer Major Adam Foden of the British Army told the Daily Mirror that the drone is a “game-changing piece of kit,” and praised its reconnaissance abilities.
“Previously, we would have had to send soldiers forward to see if there were any enemy fighters hiding inside a set of buildings. Now we are deploying Black Hornet to look inside compounds and to clear a route through enemy-held spaces. It has worked very well and the pictures it delivers back to the monitor are really clear and Black Hornet is so small and quiet that the locals can’t see or hear it,” said Foden.
Such cutting-edge technology does not come cheap, and if you are interested in getting your hands on one you would do well to work for an institution as large as the Army. Prox Dynamics sells the tiny drones for around $40,000. Form an orderly queue, please.