Now this is interesting. In order to improve surveillance options, new platforms are being researched, especially those that mimic things from nature. Take for instance this robotic spy plane. It's only six-inches long, but it can use just about everything as a power source and could be used for monitoring all sensory perceptions in a combat zone.
This project is being funded by the US Army, but involves the University of California at Berkeley, the University of New Mexico and the University of Michigan College of Engineering. The spy plane could use solar power, wind power and even vibrational-sourced power to function and could record images, audio and even smells of a combat area then transmit them over radio signals.
There is a $10 million, five-year grant at the University of Michigan's College of Engineering that has created the Center for Objective Microelectronics and Biomimetic Advanced Technology, or COM-BAT for short. The device is very much shaped like a bat and has a stereo camera, microphones and various sensors outfitted all over it for detecting radiations, gases and more. It would also be able to navigate in the dark using radar.