It's nice to have a set of robotic eyes in the sky. But surveillance drones tend to be loud, and rather obvious, as they keep watch above a Middle Eastern city. Many guerilla types know by now to avoid the things.That's why a small company out of Minneapolis, VeraTech Areo, has built a hand-held spy drone that it says is practically invisible. Battery powered and shaped like a boomerang, the "Phantom Sentinel" unmanned aeiral vehicle (UAV) "is in constant motion and the center of [its] mass is located outside of the fuselage," Catherine MacRae Hockmuth tells us in the current issue of Defense Technology International. "As the aircraft spins, it disappears from vision," an AeroTech fact sheet adds.Even better, the company promises, is that the folding, backpack-ready drone "has a uniquely minimal cross section allowing it to 'slice' through even the most adverse weather conditions that would keep conventional UAV systems on the ground. The rotational inertia generated in flight allows the UAV to self level and maintain a very high degree of stability, even while hovering."There don't seem to be any military orders for the Phantom, yet. But the company does have a patents for its hard-to-spot flights -- and a wacky, techno-themed video, too.
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