British-company BCB International yesterday unveiled its SQ-4 Recon UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), a miniature aerial surveillance drone that's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The company says the UAV can fly up to 30 minutes on a full charge, and it is capable of operating at a distance of more than 1.5 miles away from its remote control.
The SQ-4 Recon UAV uses 10 ultrasonic sonar modules to help it maneuver in tight spaces, and it can even land on narrow perchs that are out of the operator’s sight. With its motors stopped, its onboard camera can stream up to 8 hours of live video before the UAV has to be recharged. In addition, an array of infared LEDs allow for stealth night landings and for searches in the dark.
The SQ-4 Recon can be operated by remote control using its onboard camera, and an "autopilot" feature uses GPS for automatic navigation. The company says it is easy to fly and can be operated with little training, and the UAV can be configured to automatically return to the launch point when its battery reaches 30 percent. It can be set to hover at a preset location during an emergency. And if it's flipped or knocked while in motion it should automatically correct itself.
According to its specifications sheet, the SQ-4 Recon weighs 10.2oz with its extended battery. It has an operating height of up to 1,300 feet, and it flies at roughly 15mph. It emits is a rather loud, 71db sound during take-off, which fades away when in flight.
And in true James Bond style, the UAV can be used with an Internet bridge to route communications through the Internet, which means you can operate the gadget from across the globe. Finally, BCB International says the software used to control the SQ-4 Recon works with most PCs and tablet devices, including the iPad.
Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, its astronomical price tag of approximately $32,000 puts it out of reach for most people.