WATCH THIS: Origami-style drone that looks like a paper crane

Say the word “drone” and you tend to think of buzzing rotary blades or flying assassination machines. Elegant paper birds have, so far, not been an immediate connotation.

Japanese electronics manufacturer LAPIS Semiconductor is hoping to change that with the Orizuru, a drone that resembles a traditional origami crane, which was shown off at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies trade show in Tokyo.

The Orizuru, which weighs only 31g, is powered by a microcomputer called the Lazurite Fly, which is around the size of an SD card and allegedly 90% more efficient than rivals such as the Arduino.

Drones have developed a bad reputation in Japan, especially since an incident earlier in the year when an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) carrying radioactive material landed on the roof of the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe. The Orizuru is in some ways an attempt to combat this negative status.

CNET claims that the design of the drone’s 3D-printed skeleton frame and paper body will eventually be made public, so that owners of the Lazurite Fly will be able to make it for themselves.

Interested in drones? Read about the rise of the selfie drones

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