With a 6.5-inch wing span, the remote-controlled bird weighs less than a AA battery and can fly at speeds of up to 11 mph, propelled only by the flapping of its two wings. A tiny video camera sits in its belly.
The bird can climb and descend vertically, fly sideways, forward and backward. It can rotate clockwise and counterclockwise.
Most of all, it can hover and perch on a window ledge while it gathers intelligence, unbeknownst to the enemy.
“We were almost laughing out of being scared because we had signed up to do this,” said Matt Keennon, senior project engineer of California’s AeroVironment, which built the hummingbird.