Quadcopter converted into balloon-hunting Laser Drone

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The Laser Drone on the prowl

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The ability to view real-time video from a quadcopter's onboard camera is certainly a handy feature, but let's be honest – there are probably a lot of people who just think, "Wouldn't be great if I could use this to shoot at stuff?". Well, German cyberpunk weapons tinkerer Patrick Priebe has adapted an off-the-shelf drone so it can do just that – using a laser.

Priebe started with a camera-equipped Amewi AMX-51 quadcopter, and added both a 3-mW red laser for aiming and a 1.5-W laser for shooting/burning. In order to provide power to them, he replaced the drone's original 850-mAh 7.4-volt battery with one rated at 1,200 mAh. The aiming laser remains on as long as the AMX-51 is in flight, while the blue laser can be manually activated using a switch on the remote control unit, that originally controlled the drone's LED running lights.

The lasers, battery and camera are mounted on the undercarriage and protected by 1-mm aluminum sheets, with ventilation holes drilled into them.

Patrick emphasizes that he took on the project with the intention of only using the drone in a closed indoor environment, wearing eye protection at all times, and shooting at nothing but helium balloons. In order to make those balloons a little more challenging of a target, however, he equipped them with tiny electric motor-driven propellers.

The finished Laser Drone can be seen in balloon-popping action, in the video below.

View gallery - 3 images

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