by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — In the locker room at the University of North Dakota football stadium, a handful of people wait for an early morning rain shower to pass so they can test a small four-rotor helicopter on the football field.
As the clouds pass, the crew of university researchers and police snap together the 3-foot-long, 5-pound helicopter in an unmanned aircraft training exercise designed to show how small drones can help fight crime. It’s flown by controls on a tablet-like device that also shows a live video feed from the drone’s on-board camera.
Small drones could save police time and money, but privacy advocates worry they might also make it easy for police to spy on people.