pigrabbitbear writes with an excerpt from an article at Motherboard.tv about a non-evil use for unmanned aircraft: "Ask anyone in Nome, Alaska right now how they feel about surveillance drones and you'll likely get unequivocally high praise. Had a remotely-piloted surveillance aircraft not been monitoring Bering Sea ice flows over the past week an emergency shipment of 1.3 million gallons of oil may not have reached the iced-in, snow-drifted town as soon as it did. ... The drone, which was launched from Nome's shores by University of Alaska – Fairbanks Geophysical Institute researchers, isn't the sort of eye-in-the-sky most often associated with the U.S.'s various hulking, 40-foot wing-spanning reconnaissance planes ... The Aeryon Scout micro unmanned aerial vehicle resembles a 'smoke detector with wings and legs,' according to the Anchorage Daily News, and is part and parcel of a rapidly expanding fleet of mid- to micro-sized sky robots being flown domestically for all manner of tedious or risky intelligence gathering gigs."
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