February 12, 2009

From Our Military-Industrial Complex: Hummingbird mit Argus

A robot helicopter capable of hovering for 20 hours without re-fueling at altitudes up to and beyond 15,000 feet, equipped with a 1.8 gigapixel camera. Developed under the auspices of DARPA, the camera is the sensor part of Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance - Imaging System or ARGUS-IS.

While surveying an area of over a hundred square miles, the resolution will be good enough to follow individual people on foot. Part of the tech involves an ability to target areas of interest; when used, "it may be possible to speed the frame rate up considerably – we previously looked at a windowing system so fast it could follow speeding bullets."

More at Wired (thanks, Ben!) Glad I live in a city with tunnels.

For art re- DARPA, see the Institute for Applied Autonomy (also rec'd is their project on supposedly-extraordinary rendition; see here and here).

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