Drones have taken off in the past decade, and have been used for a variety of applications from wedding photography to national defence. However, drones are not very well equipped to deal with inclement weather, especially in strong winds. Animals Dynamics, led by Alex Caccia, created the Skeeter drone in 2020 that mimics the mobility and stealth of insects – the wings of the dragonfly, in particular, were an inspiration for the Skeeter’s design. The Skeeter has a flat and thin center (almost like the handle of a toothbrush, but silicone) and four propellers, which almost look like paddles, that can adjust and fly even during winds of up to 20 knots (23 mph or 37 km/h), which is generally considered to be speeds of a strong breeze. The fact that the Skeeter can withstand a breeze might not seem that impressive, but typical commercial drones are really only able to fly in the most optimal (ie: non-windy) conditions. The Skeeter is set to enter commercial production soon and is being geared towards defence and communication since it can be fitted with a camera and communication devices. There is a whole set of ethical dilemmas that accompany technology being marketed or co-opted for defence and national security, but this is an interesting leap in drone photography that shouldn’t be discounted.


Artificial Life, Ecological Monitoring, Monitoring, Regulation