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SkySeer droneDe la Torre shows off the SkySeer's panning camera (between his hands), which transmits video images in real time. An AFP story pointed out the cost advantage the SkySeer has over a helicopter--a price between $25,000 and $30,000 apiece, compared with $3 million to $5 million per copter (the LASD has 18 of the latter). "It's basically a high-tech kite that field officers could set up in a matter of minutes," said Sid Heal, head of the LASD's Technology Exploration Project.
UAVs have become a staple of military operations in recent years--one was used in the operation that killed al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi earlier this month--and police agencies now envision using them over U.S. cities and borders. For more photos of UAVs, click here.