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Japanese security drone detects intruders, then follows them around with a camera

This newest drone from Japanese company Secom is a criminal’s worst nightmare — not only is it designed to autonomously detect unwanted intruders, it also will follow them and photograph them as they try to escape. The small flight surveillance robot is equipped with a camera that will capture photographs of suspicious individuals and any vehicles that they use to flee from the scene.

Marketed to enterprise and other large customers, the drone is designed for entities that need to monitor large buildings or expansive parcels of land. Constructed for autonomous surveillance, the UAV sits on a dedicated launching pad and charging station to ensure it will be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. It also includes LED lights for night operation.

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Once an intruder is detected, the surveillance UAV will lift off, hover at a height of three to five meters, and follow the suspect at speeds up to 10 km per hour. As it tracks an intruder, a camera on the drone will attempt to take pictures of the individual’s face, vehicle and surroundings. This data will be sent to Secom’s security center, which will analyze the severity of the threat. This drone-based system provides a method of early detection that is far superior to Secom’s current security service, which uses static surveillance cameras and requires a visit by a security guard to assess a threat.

Secom began selling its small flight surveillance robot earlier this month with and an upfront cost of ¥800,000 ($6,575) for the drone, and a monthly fee of ¥5,000 ($40) for their associated services. The company originally planned to release its drone security system earlier this year, but issues surrounding the legality of drone flights in Japan delayed the (business) launch.

Japan recently changed its laws after a citizen flew a drone containing radioactive sand and landed it on the roof of the Prime Minister’s home. This incident prompted the government to revise its aviation laws, making it possible for Secom to begin selling its drone-based security package.