It is no secret that there has been a major shift towards UAVs for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. With big contracts on the line, researchers are scrambling to come up with the next big breakthrough in unmanned military technology. One group of researchers believes that the "next big thing" could be a dinosaur (or "flying reptile" if you want to be all accurate about it) that existed 115 million years ago. These scientists are attempting to create a UAV that mimics the physical and biological characteristics of the prehistoric pterodactyl. The "Pterodrone" will be capable of flying, walking and sailing just like the flesh and blood original.
"The next generation of airborne drones won't just be small and silent," says the multidisciplinary group, "they'll alter their wing shapes using morphing techniques to squeeze through confined spaces, dive between buildings, zoom under overpasses, land on apartment balconies, or sail along the coastline."
The researchers behind the project view the pterodactyl as one of the most successful flying creatures to ever soar above the Earth—so, naturally, a robotic version might prove useful in gathering information and maybe even conducting military strikes somewhere down the line. Nothing would strike fear into the hearts of terrorists like a squadron of pterodactyls swooping down and devouring their comrades one by one. [Science Daily]