Security guards in Japan have a new tool to deter intruders: a drone that will chase down and follow people without human intervention.
Made by Secom, Japan’s biggest security company, the drone goes on sale Friday to organizations that need to protect large parcels of land. It will launch whenever suspicious cars or people are detected on the property by other security equipment.
The drone will snap pictures and send them to a Secom monitoring center where it can determine the threat. Today, the company sends security guards to investigate potential intrusions, so a drone could reduce its response time considerably.
In the case of a vehicle, the drone will photograph the car and its license plate. If it’s a person, it will attempt to get a picture of their face.
It has LED lights for use at night, but the car better not be moving too fast. The drone’s top speed is 10 kilometers per hour. It will fly between 3 and 5 meters above the ground, well out of the reach of would-be intruders.
Japan’s Kyodo News published this video showing the launch of the drone, including a demonstration of it following a car and an intruder:
The drone takes off from a dedicated launch pad that includes a recharging system. The launch pad will cost ¥800,000 (US$6,575) and the drone carries a monthly rental fee of ¥5,000.
It’s being promoted as an alternative to a fixed security cameras, because of its ability to fly anywhere on a property and take pictures from a variety of angles.
Martyn Williams produces technology news and product reviews in text and video for PC World, Macworld, and TechHive from his home outside Washington D.C.. He previously worked for IDG News Service as a correspondent in San Francisco and Tokyo and has reported on technology news from across Asia and Europe.