THE secretive Central Intelligence Agency is giving the world a look at some of its never-before-seen spy gadgetry, FOXNews.com reported today.
The US spy organisation launched a complete overhaul to its cia.gov website, including new pages on YouTube and Flickr containing historical videos and picture galleries.
"The idea behind these improvements is to make more information about the agency available to more people, more easily," director Leon Panetta said in a statement. "The CIA wants the American people and the world to understand its mission and its vital role in keeping our country safe."
Some of the items featured are your run-of-the-mill spy gear such as hidden cameras, devices to secretly extract letters from envelopes, and code-breaking machines. Among its more spectacular creations are the robots that help the CIA go where its agents cannot.
There is "Charlie," for example, an unmanned underwater vehicle shaped like a fish that the agency used to study aquatic robot technology. Controlled via radio, it contained built-in ballast and propulsion systems allowing it to covertly travel underwater.
Another is the dragonfly "Insectothopter," one of the first micro spy drones of its times. Both gadgets were developed by the CIA's Office of Research and Development in the 1970s. "It was an initiative to explore the concept of intelligence collection by miniaturised platforms," according to the site.