Beware of the birds that you might come across in China, because some of them may be hidden robots! The Chinese government is currently testing winged drones which have been made to monitor their citizens.
According to the South China Morning Post, there is a particularly advanced spying system which is currently being tested in China and it's named the ‘Dove’. It has been tested in the past few days in five of the country’s provinces by thirty military and government agencies. The operation consists of sending a flock of drones that look like birds into the sky.
Robots that blend into nature
Weighing 200 grams and with a 50 centimetre wingspan, these robots can flap their wings like real birds. They were designed by a team of researchers from Northwestern Polytechnic University in Shaanxi Province, and are equipped with GPS, as well as a high-definition camera. These spy birds are driven remotely by a control system that is connected to several satellites and can monitor the population discreetly and almost unnoticed.
'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,' says Yang Wenqing, Associate Professor at the School of Aeronautics at the University, who worked on this project.
These ‘Dove’ drones are capable of flying at 40km/h and they have wings that are powered by an electric motor. Researchers have claimed that it is so silent, that even the other birds don’t notice the difference.
In the future, they could still work on improving these robots by giving them real feathers to make then even more undetectable by radar or by humans. Pretty scary right?