Drawing the Line on Drones: Police and fire departments too small to afford their own helicopters, but big enough to need UAV’s
The International Association of Police Chiefs held its convention in San Diego earlier this month and one of the booths drawing a lot of attention belonged to a California company called AeroVironment, Inc.
It’s in the business of building drones.
One of its models-the Raven-weighs less than five pounds and is the most popular military spy drone in the world. More than 19,000 have been sold. Another of its robot planes-the Switchblade-is seen as the kamikaze drone of the future, one small enough to fit into a soldier’s backpack.
But AeroVironment is zeroing in on a new market-police and fire departments too small to afford their own helicopters, but big enough to have a need for overhead surveillance. So in San Diego, it was showing off yet another model, this one called the Qube.