While this 11-inch unmanned remote-controlled spy helicopter looks like something you would only see in a James Bond movie, it is an actual working device that is being used, not only for spying, but a variety of other things.
Microdrone, the brainchild of a German company, is the smallest unmanned helicopter in the world and comes equipped with a high resolution video recorder, an infrared camera and best of all, a 'squirt gun'. The gun squirts offenders with a special liquid called 'smart water', that leaves identifying marks, making it easy for police to catch them.
The smart little easy-to-use device, which can auto start and auto land, is equipped with a GPS device. It can be controlled remotely from the ground and comes with special goggles to enable the operator to monitor what the Microdrone is filming, real-time.
The Microdrone has proved quite popular with the police force in Europe, trying to catch thieves in the act. The British Transport Police has been using it for over a year now, to track down cable-wire thieves. In addition, the little device is also starting to gain popularity with other groups. Professional photographers and firefighters are both using the helicopter for its ability to take clear pictures and video from as high as 350ft.
The one thing that has been impeding Microdrone's widespread popularity is its high price tag - At $25,000 USD apiece, most organizations cannot afford to have more than one. However, that is the price one has to pay for a sophisticated device that even Special Agent 007 would be proud to have!
Sources:Dailymail.co.uk, microdrones.org, thesun.co.uk