European researchers have developed a small robotic drone capable of helping save lives in emergency situations or preventing terrorist attacks in urban areas.
Drones, known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have proven to be of great value in military operations, but so far, their advantages have not been fully exploited for civilian uses.
In civil life, drones are mainly used in the agriculture sector – for assessing how well crops are growing in a particular part of a field – or for meteorological measurements.
The main barrier to the wider use of drones is their large size and lack of manoeuvrability around obstacles. Most military drones are fixed-wing UAVs designed to operate at high altitudes and do not need a lot of manoeuvrability. In built up, highly populated areas such drones would pose a danger to people if they hit a tree or a building, or crashed due to the loss of its navigational signal.
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