Fly-sized spies and weapons move closer to practicality
Researchers are working on insect-sized winged vehicles which can spy on enemy operations and even deliver a lethal injection to an individual.
Bill Christensen @ Technovelgy reports on some promising developments.
From an 19NOV2006 Technovelgy post: "According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel is developing a nanotechnology-based "bionic hornet" no bigger than an insect. This weaponized bug would be able to chase, photograph and kill targets, easily maneuvering in urban landscapes."
Once again, Science Fiction has served as the brainstorming tool to stimulate research. A 1936 Science Fiction story, The Scarab, foresaw such a device.
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But, like ray guns (previous post) the major holdup is POWER. We've yet to perfect the transmission of power through air (something envisioned way back in the Twenties), batteries are still too big and heavy, solar and motion generators have serious limitations, and tiny nuclear power plants are neither practical nor deemed safe.
Manipulating flying creatures (which already have flying down pat after centuries of evolution) to accomplish military objectives is a powerful concept, which would be great for us good guys to have, but terrifying in the hands of terrorists. Remember the Bat Bomb developed in WWII (as covered in this Murdoc post)? That technology is workable and well documented. The bats could carry other things than fire starters.
Fascinating and Terrifying at the same exact time. It would be a perfect weapon with which to carry out untraceable assassinations (if a bunch of political dissidents start dying mysteriously, I guess we'll know the cause was now)