A compact, foldable drone inspired by origami can unfold itself automatically and take flight within a fraction of a second.
Hordes of these quadcopters, which are about the size of an outstretched palm, could be released over a disaster zone to take photographs and make contact with survivors, researchers say.
This drone not only fits inside your pocket, it can also self-deploy in half a second, said Dr. Stefano Mintchev, a professor of bio-inspired robotics at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland. "You can take it out of the box, switch on the motor, and it's ready to fly," Floreano told Live Science. [See video of foldable drone in action]