Meet the Origami Drone That Folds in Your Hand

By Nick Cowen on at

For those of you who want to feel a little bit like James Bond, how does owning your own pocket-sized drone grab you? One that you can whip out and make airborne in a fraction of a second? No, this isn't fantasy: researchers have actually developed a flying drone you can fold up and stick in your pocket.

The device was inspired by the Japanese art of origami, and when not in use, its arms, which are made of made of fibreglass and polyester, fold into the shape of a trapezoid. Once you switch it on, the movement of the propellers forces the arms to open. It then takes flight in seconds. It takes about ten seconds to fold up the drone – if you've had a bit of practice at it – but the researchers behind the project told Mashable that they're working on a version that folds up automatically.

While it only weighs in at about 36 grams, the origami drone can be fitted with a camera. Thus, one plan for this device is disaster relief: the idea being that deploying hundreds of these little tykes in a disaster zone will help relief workers size up the damage in a region and better equip them to help people in the area.

Call us cynical, but we think that it's highly likely that these drones would be rather attractive to operatives in the military – hey, they already want invisibility cloaks – as well as the espionage community.

The public showing of this drone is going to take place in Seattle on May 25th. Perhaps then we'll also be given a retail price for it.