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Securing Homes with Robot Drones

A flying robot programmed to guard the safety of humans? What may sound like another film comeback for Arnold Schwarzenegger is actually a home security concept on its way to becoming a reality.

Secom, Japan's largest security company, recently announced the completion of a prototype aerial drone for business and home security applications. As a compact mobile device, the drone is designed to surpass the limitations of stationary security cameras.

Here's a quick look at the security drone and its capabilities:

  • Quad-copter design, with four small rotors
  • Equipped with a small video camera
  • Wireless communication system
  • Size and weight: about 2 feet wide and 3.5 pounds

How does it work?

According to Secom, the drone is activated when an intruder triggers the master alarm system. It can fly to the spot of the break-in and record the activity with its camera, even transmitting live footage to a monitoring center.

Secom plans to begin renting drones to its Japanese customers in April 2014 at a monthly cost of about 5,000 yen (or $58). Company officials have said they would like to explore making the drone available in other countries as well.

Gadgets galore — they're out there

When the Secom drone hits the market, it will join a list of existing home security gadgets that may have once seemed like science fiction, such as:

Fingerprint door locks — Simply hold a finger or thumb to the scanner rather than fumbling for your keys.

Peephole cameras — Forget about squinting through a tiny hole. See who's outside your door on a 3-inch LED screen.

Long-range motion detectors — Sensors scan as far as 50 feet with infrared beams and transmit alert signals to a receiver up to 2,000 feet away.

Devices like these offer an intriguing glimpse of what today's home security equipment might look like tomorrow.

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