microspies on p.55 in air and space

From: Spike Jones (spike66@ibm.net)
Date: Tue Apr 04 2000 - 21:45:29 MDT

> Zero Powers wrote: If it makes you sleep better at night,
> my birth name is "Michael."

After a while those of us who have persistent nicknames tend
to think of ourselves by that name. I feel more like spike
than I do Greg. {8^D I thought of an ASCII nickname for
Zero Powers: 0 ^ ^

Now, regarding the subject we have been having so much fun
with the last couple weeks. There was a good show on the
tube last night called "Are You Being Watched?" all about
anti-crime cams, mostly in Britain.

Then just today the May issue of Air and Space came in the
post. On page 55 is an article titled "Microspies: Can tiny
spacecraft deliver the big picture?" It is about bugs carrying
cameras, among other things, and I gotta tell ya, it is about the
most wicked cool thing Ive seen in a long time.

A week ago I was ruminating about a 4 gram cam and speculated
that the sub gram cams would come soon. This issue reports one
that is ".05 ounce" which, if expressed in understandable units comes
to 1.4 grams.

The article covers something I have been wondering about: there are
lower limits to how far down we can scale airplanes due to very
low Reynolds number problems. There is bigtime research going
on in very low Re.

I figure it will be far better to use actual bugs if the cams get much
smaller than 1.4 grams. Many of the most vexing problems have
already been worked out by bugs, and furthermore I thought of
a scheme which would obviate my previous notion of neurohacking
the little beasties: we would mount tiny devices on their two aft
legs which could be deployed independently to create more drag
on one side than the other, creating a long gentle turn. Or perhaps
use just one of them, so we can turn her in only one direction, but
that should suffice to make slow gentle loops around Mike Lorrey's
back yard...

Kidding Mike, bygones. Nowthen, I suppose this is an example of
an engineer (me) being seduced by a problem that is totally evil to work
on, but is compelling because it is so wicked cool. If we could think
of legitimate uses tho....

Got one: how about sphex-cams to scope out terrorists like those that
took that embassy down in South America and held hostages? Or how
about a bug's eye view of a football game? Or have you ever wondered
what *really* goes on down in the sphex's burrow? Or use it to look
for lost hikers in the mountains? Lost pets in the neighborhood? Cowboys
use it to count cows? spike

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