Bird Drone Developed by Army Attacked by Real Birds (+Video)

June 7, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

A bird drone created by the U.S. Army is being touted as a device that could be used in wartime scenarios, according to recent reports. The Robo-Raven drone apparently fools real birds and has even been attacked by a hawk.

The Robo-Raven has a wingspan of 34.3 centimeters and is light–weighing around 9.7 grams, according to the Daily Mail, citing the Army Research Laboratory.

“It already attracts attention from birds in the area which tends to hide its presence,” mechanical engineer John Gerdes, with the Aberdeen Proving Ground, told the Mail.

He said that seagulls, crows, and songbirds have flown around the Raven in formation.

Hawks and falcons have attacked the bird, he said. “Generally we don’t see them coming,” Gerdes said.

He added, “They will dive and attack by hitting the bird from above with their talons, then they typically fly away.”

Researchers hope that the Robo-Raven can be used in stealth and reconnaissance missions.

“Our new robot, Robo Raven, is based on a fundamentally new design concept,” Dr. SK Gupta, a professor of mechanical engineering with Maryland University, was quoted by LiveScience as saying. “It uses two programmable motors that can be synchronized electronically to coordinate motion between the wings.” 

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