If you don't understand what 20 times the speed of sound gets you, how about this: It can go anywhere in the world, and photograph or kill anyone, in an hour or so.
But DARPA is also capable of thinking small -- the kind of small that is somehow creepier than a magical instant-death murdership.
"An estimated 80 percent of conversations go unrecorded. DARPA can fix that."
That's why they're also looking into something they call micro air vehicles, like the Shrike, which basically looks exactly like a kid's RC copter and is built primarily for spying and reconnaissance. So, really, it is an RC copter, with an iPhone taped to it.
And if that sounds unimpressive, don't worry -- they're also developing the much smaller and much creepier NAV -- the Nano Air Vehicle. One day you might find one hanging around your neighbor's bird feeder.
Yes, we're talking about a tiny robot hummingbird that can spy on terrorists (and maybe you). The whole thing is less than 6 inches tall and lighter than an ounce, and as demonstrated by the image on the project's page, it will fool absolutely everyone ever.
"I AM A NORMAL EARTH HUMMINGBIRD. PLEASE DO NOT APPROACH."
This is part of DARPA's ongoing effort to create ...