China’s New Drones Look Exactly like Real Birds

In another example of China using the latest technology to spy on its citizens’ lives, the Chinese government has recently started testing drones that look like birds. The purpose of these small drones is simple. To go unnoticed while observing its citizens. Reports indicate that the drones have been deployed for testing in several regions throughout China, including Xinjiang, a province known for instability and rebellion against the government.

The Dove Program

According to sources in the South China Morning Post, the project has been called the “Dove” drone program. The drones they have developed look and fly exactly like birds, making it nearly impossible to tell the difference.  These new bird drones have the ability to utilize flapping wings to gain altitude, rather than fixed wing motors. Additionally, these drones can turn and dive with far more precision than typical drones

The basis for the design is to mimic the biological functions of birds in flight, a trait that is desired for many reasons. Primarily, by copying the movements of a bird, the developers have made a drone which is far more versatile in flight with greater precision than ever before. The ability to travel into new and challenging places is a big benefit for the Chinese government, which is famous for quietly identifying and stopping dissent among its citizens. Additionally, the design is perfect for allowing the “Dove” to blend in to the surroundings, making it more difficult to spot.

Advancing China’s Spy Program

The flight of the “Dove” drone is helpful to China’s spy program for reasons other than infiltration. The new drone is far quieter than normal drones and is also much smaller than typical drones with a wingspan of about 50 cm (19 in). The drone is so life like that it has been witnessed flying among real birds, meaning that this drone does not even disturb wildlife, something that would make the machine virtually indistinguishable to humans.  Even though the drone is small, it still comes with a GPS antenna, camera, and other technology. Being that the Chinese government has already logged thousands of test flights, this drone could be deployed in real circumstances in the very near future.

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