Spherical Flying Machine: the new low cost Japanese military ground and aerial drone (with tilt rotor-like flying capabilities)

The following video shows a brand new spherical unmanned aerial system (UAS) developed by the Japan Ministry of Defense and presented at the Digital Content Expo, held in Tokyo from Oct. 20 to 22, 2011.
Equipped with gyrosensons and wings, it can both hover and fly forward at 60 Km/h because the propeller can either generate the horizontal propulsive force to let the wings generate the lift as an airplane, or act as a helicopter’s rotor (with wings used as attitude control surfaces). So it’s not a real tilt-rotor as the MV-22 Osprey, but it offers more or less the same flying capabilities.

Noteworthy, this sort of UFO (whose weight is 350 g and diameter is 42 cm) is done of commercial parts and costs around 1.400 USD. It can bypass obstacles along on its path and, thanks to its particular shape, it can land on any surface, and move along the ground, or it can fly keeping in contact with the surface of a wall or a roof, becoming an interesting low-cost spy-machine able to perform both aerial and ground missions.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.