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japanese military bot Spherical Helicopter Reconnaisance Drone

This “spherical flight vehicle,” reportedly a prototype for the Japan Self-Defense Forces, has a single rotor and is said to be capable of 40 mph flight. And as the video shows, it’s quite nimble. The catch? An 8-minute battery life. But the idea of enclosing the whole thing in a spherical frame so it can maneuver and land heedless of the orientation of the blades is pretty brilliant. More deets at

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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