Next Generation of Spy Cameras Could be Launched from Shotguns

Super-expensive surveillance cams in danger spots could soon be a thing of the past. Researchers at DARPA have been experimenting with cheapo-cheapo cameras that are tough enough either to be shot into position or dropped from a high-altitude aircraft. And when you think about today's ever-shrinking technology, how difficult would it be to design a bullet-sized camera?

Following a couple of years of research, the ELASTIC program (Expendable Local Area Sensors in a Tactically Interconnected Cluster) is now showing off its designs. "One thing we briefly looked at was delivering an image sensor by bullet," said said Bob Cormack, principal investigator on the ELASTIC work performed by CDM Optics. "The bullet would be designed to decelerate the sensor on impact [by crushing], and leave the camera stuck to a wall, say, by a spike. It's kind of mind-boggling to imagine setting up a sensor net by machine gun."

All this, however, will be old news to the Israeli military, which has already experimented with launching grenade-sized cameras from weapons. [Wired]