A tiny drone that can apparently fit in the palm of your hand has been developed by U.S. military boffins.
According to the AFP, the "micro air vehicle" – which was named after the cicada insect – is a bit like a mobile handset with wings.
A prototype of the dinky drone cost a few thousand dollars to make but the Naval Research Laboratory's Aaron Kahn claimed that the price tag could fall to as low as $250.
CICADA also stands for Covert or Close-In Autonomous Disposable Aircraft.
Khan told the news wire:
The idea was why can't we make UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that have the same sort of profile.
We will put so many out there, it will be impossible for the enemy to pick them all up.
The pocket-sized drone has been designed to be dropped from either an aircraft or a larger drone, the AFP added. It will then be programmed to glide using GPS coordinates.
NRL researcher Daniel Edwards said that the mini aircraft were "robotic carrier pigeons." He added: "You tell them where to go, and they will go there."
The lab has extensively tested the drones, apparently. The one thing that kills them is "desert shrubbery", Edwards said. ®