Embla UAV by Aesir
Habitat: Afghanistan and disaster zones, starting in June, according to British manufacturer Aesir. About the size and shape of a spare tire, the Embla lifts straight up from the ground without the need for a runway, making it more useful to combat soldiers stationed in rough terrain. Its diminutive size lets it zoom down urban canyons to find hard-to-reach enemy hideouts, and it can send video to a remote PDA-size controller, revealing potential ambushes. Loaded with explosives, it could even enter an enemy compound on a suicide mission. Yet it’s not exclusively a military breed—Embla’s maneuverability makes it a good scout in emergency scenarios too dangerous for humans to enter.
Behavior: The Embla can change direction on a dime, fly at 50 mph, and climb to 10,000 feet. It also has the ability to hover in place to, for instance, transmit encrypted HD video. Notable Feature: Whereas a ducted fan funnels air straight down to generate lift, the Embla’s turbine sucks air in through its top and forces it out through a skirt-like wing. This design bends the flow toward the ground. This makes Embla strong enough to carry cameras, weapons and sensors on its belly, oriented toward the terrain it’s watching.