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The Spherical Observation Drone Resembles a UFO More Than a UAV

 - Aug 7, 2011
References: physorg & gizmodo
The military research industry is booming, and the Spherical Observation Drone developed by the Japanese Defense Ministry is a testament to the innovation occurring every day.

Reaching a maximum speed of 37 miles per hour, this unmanned drone is capable of maneuvering into tight spaces and clandestinely recording designated targets -- evildoers of the world, beware! It may be delicate, but that's because the parts that constitute the Spherical Observation Drone cost only $1,400. But targets won't come close to the 17-inch vehicle; its chassis design gives it the dexterity to hide in small spaces and maintain altitude.

For the past 50 years, the habit was for military technology to be adopted by consumer markets; inventions like the microwave and the Internet were imagined and developed by government researchers. The Japanese Defense Ministry's surveillance drone is an indication that, although private tinkerers are still influential, the public sector accounts for many, if not most, of the products we enjoy.