This tiny hovering drone looks like it's straight out of the movies, flying through windows of buildings and spying with high-definition cameras. The bot, called EASE, is made by CyPhy Works. Just one foot wide and 16 inches tall, it uses thermal cameras and two high-definition cameras for surveillance. The EASE uses tiny copper coil akin to fishing wire to relay secure communications to the command station and to receive battery power from afar. It spools out more coil as it flies to avoid becoming tangled, says Jason Walker, director of operations at the company, based in Danvers, Mass. The technology ultimately means the robot communications are tough to hack, and the machine can stay aloft for endless hours.
Defense research into bionic suits is creating a private-sector market for so-called exoskeletons.