When I was invited to test-fly SenseFly's Swinglet surveillance drone, I was ecstatic. It was an assignment suitable for James Bond: check out a programmable, unmanned platform for taking surreptitious aerial photos.
Under the guidance of the company's representative, I unpacked the drone, programmed it with a spy mission, and sent it aloft to survey the neighborhood. You can learn some very interesting stuff by observing from your own private low-altitude spyplane, it turns out.
You can define a flight path for the drone, and it flies at 30 mph, navigating via GPS, and takes impressive aerial photographs with its onboard 12MP camera or any sort of sensor you want to send up.
The Swinglet drone and software sells for $10,600 directly from the Sensefly website. That price includes the case, a camera, and two batteries.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.