- Can the future plan to use bug/bird-like MAVs for surveillance purposes by the US military be confirmed or denied?
Based on pure common sense and logic, it is obvious the military would be working on something like this. Heck, the thing is on the Wiki! What the feasibility status/progress is would be a different story.
As far as specifically AFRL:: A couple of documents straight from the horse's mouth - in this case, Wright Patterson Air Force Base web site which houses AFRL documents:
Mission: The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Air Vehicles Directorate Micro Air Vehicle Integration & Application Research Institute (µAVIARI) is dedicated to the development and testing of Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) technology.
AFRL cuts ribbon on new Micro Air Vehicle research facility: In a ceremony held May 27, 2010, AFRL Executive Director Joe Sciabica cut the ribbon on the Micro Air Vehicle Integration and Application Research Institute (μAVIARI) Indoor Flight Test Laboratory, a new $1.5 million facility dedicated to the advancement of Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) technologies.
Close to the topic at hand, there are published confirmations that AFRL is working on MAVs:
Aviation Week: "AFRL Aims for MAV Lead"
Now the US Air Force Research Laboratory is considering developing an MAV Collaborative Center, where academia, industry, the Air Force and other DoD organizations can work together to build and test prototypes, and has issued a request for information to identify potential collaborators. AFRL's plan is to demonstrate a bird-sized MAV in 2015 and an insect-sized MAV in 2030
Wired: "Air Force Completes Killer Micro-Drone Project" discusses "Prioject Anubis"
As far as non-AFRL projects, the linked-above Wiki states that:
In January 2010, the Tamkang University (TKU) in Taiwan realized autonomous control of the flight altitude of an 8-gram, 20-centimeter wide, flapping-wing MAV. (See link for video download.)
Another example from Wiki:
In early 2008 the United States company Honeywell received FAA approval to operate its MAV in the national airspace on an experimental basis. The gMAV is the fourth MAV to receive such approval. The Honeywell gMAV uses ducted thrust for lift. No performance figures have been released. It was originally developed as part of a DARPA program, and its initial application is expected to be with the police department of Miami-Dade County, Florida. Source: Honeywell Wins FAA Approval for MAV, Flying Magazine, Vol. 135., No. 5, May 2008, p. 24
Here are a couple of actual deployed MAVs:
Wasp III: http://www2.afsoc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9114
- In general, are these "concept videos" quite a bit more common than I thought, or is intuition correct that the military would be secretive about the future directions of research and development?
Again, this is such an obvious and straightforward idea that keeping the concept secret would make no sense. Whether the video makes specific and accurate claims as to the technical/tactical characteristics of the planned MAVs or current progress is a different story. It was TL;DR - if you post specific claims that the video made we would be able to try to confirm or debunk them.