A cross between something out of Star Wars and a UFO conspiracy theory video, Japan’s Ministry of Defense have recently unveiled their imaginatively titled “Spherical Flying Machine” at the Digital Content Expo.

The drone is controlled by remote control and has been developed as a search and rescue tool as well as intelligence and reconnaissance gathering. Just 42cm in diameter and 350 grams in weight, it can stand still in mid air as well as fly in all directions and even continue moving as it hits the ground. The government official demonstrated it’s capabilities launching the ball like object straight up in the air from its shell.

The sphere uses a propeller to lift off and land, and the wings for lift as it flies forward. There is also a camera placed inside the housing. It can reach speeds up to around 40 mph and change direction at acute angles unlike other flying objects. The three gyrosensors maintain its position both in the air and on the ground, even if it hits an object in the air while flying.

Japanese innovation continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, and despite problems that have affected many areas post 3.11, innovation within the country is still particularly strong. With the world’s first Dreamliner now operating out of Japan as well, there is a strong focus on aviation and aeronautics out of Japan right now.