I'm watching a Ted Talks video in which a guy named Marcus Fischer discusses and demonstrates a robotic bird that can fly just be flapping its wings, just like a real bird. Here's the link.
Pretty cool. And the bird probably won't even poop on people walking beneath it.
Imagine how useful Fischer's flying robot would be for surveillance during wartime. The enemy would never suspect (unless the enemy was the wizard Gandalf) that the "bird" flying overhead was actually a spy, fully equipped with video cameras in its eye sockets. In an article about a device known as an "ornithopter", Wikipedia states that such devices have indeed been used for such purposes. The article can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ornithopter&printable=yes.