Draganflyer X6 Helicopter Has HD Camera

The Draganflyer X6 Helicopter is not only a villainously stylish surveillance UAV; it also solves one of the things that troubles me the most about our national obsession with watching everthing. There is nothing that disturbs me more about the surveillance society than the idea that sweaty little men will be stuck in small rooms squinting at grainy low-resolution spy footage.

The Draganflyer has so much lift it can easily accommodate high definition cameras for surveillance. Now, sweaty little men can watch us going on about our (suspicious!) business on wide screen LCD TVs.


(Draganflyer X6 Helicopter)

Aimed at industrial and commercial use, it provides reconnaissance and inspection information using on-board wireless video and still cameras. The Draganflyer X6 helicopter is able to fly autonomously or can be flown manually by remote control. The Draganflyer X6 helicopter achieves its stability by using an on-board processor running more than ten thousand lines of code and receiving data from eleven on-board sensors (three gyros, three accelerometers, three magnetometers, one barometric pressure sensor, and one GPS receiver). It can be piloted by users with minimal or zero training.

The Draganflyer X6 helicopter can be put into GPS hold mode where it will maintain its position without any user input. This means that after activating GPS hold, the pilot can set the handheld controller on the ground while the Draganflyer X6 helicopter flies itself. This mode will allow the user to focus on other tasks such as aerial photography from the Draganflyer X6 helicopter.


(Draganflyer X6 Helicopter video)

The overall impression of the Draganflyer X6 helicopter is very similar to Philip K. Dick's description of robot tracking devices in his 1960 novel Vulcan's Hammer.

On the chest of drawers something was perched. Something that gleamed, shiny metal, gleamed and clicked as it turned toward her. She saw into two glassy mechanical lenses, something with a tubelike body, the size of a child's bat, shot upward and swept toward her.
(Read more about Dick's robot tracking device)

I'm also reminded of the servo-optical stick-tight from Jack Vance's 1964 novel The Star King; from a technical standpoint, it's probably a closer match.

Take a look at this video of Draganfly UAV swarm surveillance at MIT.

It's not too early to tell Santa: the Draganflyer X6 models start from just $799. From Draganflyer X6 via frolix_8.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/28/2008)

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