Taking voyeurism to a whole new level
A high technology very small UAV made in Germany by microdrone GmbH. Can reach an altitude of 400m and stay in the sky for 30 minutes. Second video after the jump.
In size and appearance it may resemble a toy – and the fact that it can squirt a jet of water on to unsuspecting people’s heads may add to that impression – but this is in fact a £25,000 hi-tech crime-fighting machine.
A remote-controlled and almost silent miniature helicopter, the “Microdrone” can act as a police commander’s eye in the sky, capturing images with both a video and an infra-red camera and instantly transmitting it to operators on the ground up to 500 yards away.
Barely the size of a dustbin lid – around two feet across – the tiny drone is nonetheless armed to the hilt with crime-fighting technology, including a squirt-gun which can fire jets of a liquid called “SmartWater” which can be identified by police.
British Transport Police (BTP) have been using the Microdrone in their operation to crack down on metal thefts on the railways.
A spokesman for BTP said: “Although it may look simple, it’s actually a complex bit of kit, capable of many things.
“There’s only one being used at the moment as it is an expensive device which costs several thousands of pounds.”
While police have welcomed the device as the latest tool in the war on crime, concerns have been raised that it may be used to intrude on privacy.
Other bloggers have pointed out that a silent, tiny machine capable of focusing its cameras on objects more than 350 feet away could be abused both by the authorities and private owners, who could use it as a “peeping tom” device.