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LAPD Gets Some Hand-Me-Down Drones From Seattle, Promises Discretion 108

Posted by timothy
from the orange-groves-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see dept.
After Seattleites objected to the local police department's plan to deploy unmanned aircraft, that plan was withdrawn. Now, it seems, Seattle has found a willing recipient for some of the drones that it no longer has use for: the Los Angeles Police Department. From the linked article: "The Draganflyer X6 aircraft, which resemble small helicopters, are each about 3 feet wide and equipped with a camera, video camera and infrared night-vision capabilities. In making the announcement, however, department officials were at pains to make it clear the LAPD doesn't intend to use the new hardware to keep watch from above over an unsuspecting public. If they're used at all, the remotely controlled aircraft will be called on only for "narrow and prescribed uses" that will be made clear to the public, the statement said."
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LAPD Gets Some Hand-Me-Down Drones From Seattle, Promises Discretion

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  • by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @11:31PM (#47139283) Journal

    The US House of Representatives passed H.R. 4660 yesterday, Rep,. Rush Holt (D-N.J) added a couple of amendments to this bill which prohibit local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies from purchasing or using unmanned aircraft based on privacy concerns....

    So the next time a quad copter in the hands of a law enforcement agency could have potentially found a lost hiker, or monitored a wildfire etc.. I guess you're out of luck....

  • by Frobnicator (565869) on Sunday June 01, 2014 @12:02AM (#47139381) Journal

    There is still generally a big difference between drones and RC aircraft.

    RC aircraft do include many of the quadcopters and traditional devices that are controlled by line-of-sight from a controlling box. The key difference is that RC aircraft are not fully autonomous.

    Drones are the ones that can fly with autonomy, be programmed with routes, and otherwise do things independently from the radio controller.

    These specific devices feature GPS-driven autopilot, dynamic routing, and automated photography systems. The website also lists some auto-drop functionality to deliver small packages to GPS coordinates. They can fly autonomously to GPS locations, take actions, fly elsewhere, take actions, then fly home.

    While they do offer a regular controller box and can operate as normal RC aircraft, they are also GPS-drivable, programmably autonomous, and capable of fully automated flight and fully automated recording, so these Dragonflyer X6 devices very firmly fall into the 'drone' category.

  • LAPD Integrity (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Sunday June 01, 2014 @12:03AM (#47139389) Homepage

    department officials were at pains to make it clear the LAPD doesn't intend to use the new hardware to keep watch from above over an unsuspecting public.

    Ahh, well that completely sets my mind at ease. How could anyone doubt the integrity of the LAPD [wikipedia.org]?

Imitation is the sincerest form of plagarism.

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