Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

COM-BAT Robotic 'Bat' On Order From UM

COM-BAT (Center for Objective Microelectronics and Biomimetic Advanced Technology) has been established with a $10 million grant by the U.S. Army. The intent is to bring an otherwise science-fictional bat-sized robotic spy plane to life.


(COM-BAT MAV takes flight (in CGI))

The bat-like MAV (micro air vehicle) would gather data from urban combat zones and transmit the information in real time to soldiers.

U-M researchers will focus on the microelectronics. They will develop sensors, communication tools and batteries for this micro-aerial vehicle that's been dubbed "the bat." Engineers envision tiny cameras for stereo vision, an array of mini microphones that could home in on sounds from different directions, and small detectors for nuclear radiation and poisonous gases.

The device would utilize a low-power miniaturized radar and navigation system to find its way around at night. Energy scavenging from solar, wind, vibration and other sources would be encouraged.


(UM COM-BAT sensors for bat-like robotic spy plane)

I'm wondering if UM engineers have read the source material for these little guys; they might want to start with the tracer birds from Roger Zelazny's 1980 novel Changeling:

The prototype blue-bellied, gray-backed tracer-bird with the wide-angle eye and the parabola ear followed the dragon-riders north. A series of the larger fliers followed it at well-spaced intervals, to serve as relay points for the spy broadcasts...

The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread. Had there been an eye to observe them, it might not even have noted their minute, tropism-like pursuit of the sun across the sky as they recharged their batteries for the night's flight.
(Read more about Roger Zelazny's tracer birds

Update 20-Mar-2008. As long as the U.S. Army is procuring, it might as well get the wristband viewer and controller from the same novel. Handy, no? End update.

Don't miss UAV Cloud Swift and the Tiny Spyplanes That May Recharge On Power Lines, both of which could teach UM engineers a few things about power scavenging.

Via Sensors for bat-inspired plane under development.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/18/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

A'Seedbot Autonomous Desert Robot
'Each is planted most tenderly in its own little pit.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Gentle Monster Robot Head
'The robot knelt before the head, lifted it slowly, and with... its strong hands placed it on its shoulders...' - Hugo Correa, 1968.

Burro Robot Follows You And Gets Smarter
'Oh, there you are! the balloon piped at the amorphous mass of living tissue...' - Philip K. Dick, 1964.

Auto-Targeting Fire Sprinkler Systems Now Reality
I think every kitchen should have one of these.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Star Trek Voyager Replica Tricorder And Galaxy Quest
'They designed those controls after watching you...take her out!'

Rolls Royce Electric Airplane Breaks Records
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Chang'e-5 Lunar Lander Seeks Water
'... get out the solar power apparatus and send it down to us from the air-lock by the crane.'

I Really Want A Folding Computer
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'

A Kill Switch For Your Car?
'The car faltered as the external command came to brake...'

Scientifiction, Searchlight of Science
'And science goes on, with scientifiction as its searchlight.'

Wearable Biomedical Sensors Printed Directly On Your Skin
'The dragon is a skin computer... People put it on their arms and exchange personal data.'

Artificial, Implantable Kidney Prototype
'George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'

Ultra-short Pulse Laser Kills Bacteria In Vivo
'...coherent beams at precise wave-lengths passing through her flesh to zap foreign molecules within her body.'

Bioprint Prototype Handheld Bioprinter
'He turned the little art-derm nozzle...'

Betty Crocker, The First Company Avatar
'After six months of surgery and psycho-conditioning, he was identical with the other 496 Mr. Prestos...'

Augmented Reality Book Covers Reveal The Inner Book
'The E-paper holograms leaped from lurid covers...'

The First Multi-User Hologram Table?
Let the Wookiee win.

Apollo 8 Astronauts Pass The Equigravisphere
'... divers other objects, firearms and bottles, abandoned to themselves, held themselves up as by enchantment.'

Stellar Pizza Is A Pizza Robot That Comes To You
'No hand touched the food...'

Yamaha MOTOROiD Living Motorcycle Experiment
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.