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Warfare isnâ€™t what it used to be these days. Ever since the beginning of the Cold War, the â€œstrength in numbersâ€ ideology has been completely abandoned, while technology and science took over the battlefield. They came up with all sorts of ingenious stuff: stealthy airplanes, atomic missiles, biological bombs, futuristic gears of war, spy robotsâ€¦ All this in order to reduce casualties of war and decree the â€œcollateral damageâ€ policy, along with the manifest destiny and politically correct ideologies. Not to mention that traditional open ended battlefields were almost replaced by urban chaotic sites.
Not too much progress was made with spy bots in past years. Some scientists are willing to prove this observation wrong with their robo-spy-plane inspired by real world bats. Itâ€™s a miniature plane that is capable of gathering data from sights, sounds and smells in urban combat zones and transmit information back to a soldier in real time. Responsible for this concept are the guys over at the University Of Michigan College Of Engineering, who have impressed the US Army and earned a five-year, $10-million grant to help materialize it. The grant establishes the U-M Center for Objective Microelectronics and Biomimetic Advanced Technology, called COM-BAT for short. It also includes an option to renew for an additional five years and $12.5 million.
They sure pumped a lot of money into this project, but was it really worth it? So it seems. Although itâ€™s just a little bit bigger than your average bat, scientists managed to squeeze a low-power miniaturized radar and a very sensitive navigation system that would help the bat find its way at night. Energy scavenging from solar, wind, vibration and other sources would recharge the batâ€™s lithium battery. This miniature aircraft would use radio to send signals back to troops. â€œThe Batâ€ uses all those varied power sources to provide significant and sustained information that is vital to winning battles in the real world. Real life bats are known to possess a highly-attuned echolocation sense providing high-resolution navigation and sensing ability even in the dark. The solar spy bat is also designed to function as sharply and as astutely as the real creature itself.
This impressive piece of technology demonstrates that people can develop modern war gadgets in an eco-friendly fashion and that technology and battle situations could be easily intertwined with â€œgreenâ€ features which do not harm the planet when dealing with the danger at hand.
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