IN JUNE a search-and-rescue team in Colorado used a drone to spot lost hikers in a pine forest, shaving hours off the time it would have taken to find the hikers using dogs, and thousands of dollars off the cost of doing so with a helicopter. In August police officers in Maine used a drone to snap 81 photos of the aftermath of a collision between a pickup truck and a blueberry lorry. The process took 14 minutes, instead of the hours officers said would usually have been required. Last month, police officers in Illinois used a drone to fly a mobile phone into the hands of a disgruntled man who shot at them when they tried to evict him from a foreclosed home. After hours of negotiations via the drone-delivered phone, they coaxed him into surrendering.
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