A new robot helicopter by Vanguard Defense called Shadowhawk has been released. Shadowhawk has a range of 35 miles and can fly up to 70 miles an hour. It can come equipped with a turbine or piston engine. All models come with a Sony FCB EX-980 CCDTV camera as well as a FLIR Photon UTAM-32 Thermal Camera.
If you are in the military, then you have the option of adding a Taser XREP, 40mm, 37mm grenade launcher or 12 gauge shotgun with laser designator. Yes, you can now get a robotic helicopter with a grenade launcher! Now hold on a minute, get those ideas of launching hand grenades at your neighbor out of your head.
We are not quite sure how this will play out in regards to licensing if you as an individual want to use one. Considering the News Corp’s The Daily has a drone and may or may not need licensing. Kashmir Hill from Forbes states:
Hobbyists are basically free to use drones as long as they keep them under 400 feet. At this point, civil and commercial use of drones is only allowed for research and development purposes. “Not for compensation or hire” says one FAA notice. To get government permission to use a drone (for non-hobby purposes), a private entity has to jump through hoops including getting an airworthiness certificate — meaning the thing is safe to fly — and an experimental certificate, approving the planned use of the unmanned system (uses are currently limited to research and development, marketing surveys, or crew training).
Vanguard Defense has already won a bid to supply Mongomery County in Texas with the Shadowhawk for it’s Homeland Security efforts.
I guess law enforcement gets to circumvent the licensing. Why do they get to have all the fun?
Click through for a video of Shadowhawk in action.