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Feb 17 2010 11:54am

(Air) Robot Makes “Arrest”

I was about to write a Robots: Recent Developments post when news of an aerial-drone “arrest” flitted across my radar screen. “A first” the headlines screams—at least in the U.K. The poor fellow nabbed? A British car thief, cringing in the bushes. Poor chap: the thick fog didn’t help him. The Air Robot’s thermal-imaging cameras pick up body heat. The drone directed the Merseyside bobbies to the cringing thief’s location; the bobbies directed the would-be thief to a paddy wagon.

Now it seems the Merseyside police used their £40,000 Air Robot illegally. All Aerial Surveillance Systems operations are now on hold.

But you and I know Air Robots (and their brethren are aloft), and not just on the battlefield or in the U.K. So—what is an AirRobot? And what can it do?

[Big Brother watching you? ]