British army uses 10cm nano-hornets to sniff out insurgents

The British Army is deploying nanobots in the war against Afghan insurgents.

While not exactly being the sort of nano bots which Wesley Crusher could use to destroy the Enterprise, the pocket-sized spy drones are pretty small.

Dubbed Black Hornet Nano, the remote controlled toy is 10 centimetres long and weighs about 15 grams.

It is used it to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing.

Sergeant Christopher Petherbridge was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the gizmo is a real asset. It means that the British can find insurgents hiding in cover before exposing themselves to a hail of bullets. The nano bot is also hard to see, let alone shoot.

The drone is made by the Norwegian company Prox Dynamics. It can fly indoors or outdoors either flown manually or programmed using GPS coordinates.

The Hornet is powered by a small rechargeable battery and reportedly has a working range of about 800 metres, a top speed of 35 km/h and can fly for up to 30 minutes at a time.

Britain obtained the technology as part of a $31 million contract for 160 of the beasties, the Associated Press said.