FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

LA Cops Use Drone Aircraft to Catch Crooks

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) -- otherwise known as drones -- have made their mark in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, allowing our military to spot and even destroy the enemy from a safe distance. Now, UAV technology is being considered by US law enforcement for surveillance and rescue operations.

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department has begun testing a 6-foot long, 4-pound, battery-powered UAV called the SkySeer that can be carried by an individual officer, assembled within five minutes, and can transmit video in real time. Far cheaper and more discrete than helicopter surveillance, the SkySeer will be used to pinpoint the location of fugitives or injured people needing rescue. It can also fly into highly dangerous situations without risk to lives or heavy equipment.

Currently, LA sheriffs only have a single prototype SkySeer. If all goes well, they hope to increase that number, and also develop a web portal to allow other law enforcement officers and subject matter experts to view real-time SkySeer video from any location.

Source: BBC