Designed by the Japanese Ministry of Defense this flying sphere moves through the air like a silent helicopter. The invention was initially unveiled last Fall in Japan at the Digital Content Expo where it wowed the crowd.
This video filmed by Digi Info News shows the spherical drone in action as it takes off silently, hovers around the room at high speeds and even rolls across the floor while lead engineer Fumiyuki Sato controls the device with a remote.
The drone is capable of hovering for eight minutes without landing and can accelerate to up to 40 miles per hour. It weighs less than a pound, costs approximately $1400 and can be made entirely from commercially available parts.
It flies through a combination of internal propellers providing propulsive force and wings providing lift and also holds a camera inside. The drone takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, but won't lose altitude if it hits another object.
"We've brought the control surfaces, which are at the rear in an ordinary plane, to the front" Sato explained during the live demonstration.
According to Digi Info News the drone will likely be used for rescue and reconnaissance missions since it can land and take off from locations no other ship or drone can.
Of course, what the spherical drone really reminds us of is the laser-shooting floating sphere old Obi-Wan Kenobi uses to train Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars movie (video)