image via TU Delft
The Micro Aerial Vehicle Laboratory at TU Delft has designed and built the world's smallest, open source, autopilot, and (*gasps for air*) unmanned aircraft. The Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV), called Lisa/S, weighs only 1.9 grams and is 2 cm by 2 cm. It was designed to fit into narrow spaces or carry a camera, making it fitting for potential rescue missions in the future.
The project was led by Bart Remes, who said that the project's aim is to "make MAVs so small and light that every fireman can fit one in his pocket." They also want it to be as "commonplace" as laptops or smartphones.
The MAV has new software called Superbitrf that allowed the autopilot to be miniaturized by connecting it to a ground station and RC transmitter simultaneously. It's open source, so users can test it and suggest improvements.
Lisa/S is 30 grams lighter than the previous lightest autopilot aircraft, though it looks bigger than the RoboBee, the world's smallest drone, which weighs in at 80 milligrams.
Lisa/S.'s chip next to a Euro via Phys.org
Lisa/S may not win the Guiness World Record for smallest robot, but it;s certainly making the pocket-sized aircraft a potential household reality.