To build one, though, takes real ingenuity, as choppers are not inherently aerodynamic. Although dozens of contractors are building customized autonomous copters for the military, Israeli manufacturer Steadicopter is the first company to build one cheaply, in a design readily adaptable to myriad governmental and civilian applications, on a virtually unlimited range of flight platforms. The $150,000 standard model weighs just 18 pounds. It can take off from the top of a truck and requires no flight skills, says company spokesman Amir Rochman. The operator simply inputs GPS coordinates on a laptop, and the chopper uses gyros, accelerometers, and barometric and ultrasonic altitude instruments to hold a steady course, sending back video as it flies.