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Thursday, 18 August 2011

China Debuts a Drone at Robotics Show

Wall Street Journal
Aug 17, 2011

China made its debut this week at the world's largest robotics trade show when a Shenzhen-based firm showcased its F50, a small drone with a high-definition video camera that a company brochure billed as a tool for monitoring protests, or responding to building fires.

The appearance of AEE Technology Co.'s relatively small, short-range drone—about the size of a pizza pan—in the drone market underscores the burgeoning international competition in the market for unmanned aerial vehicles and military robots.

State-run and private Chinese companies have invested heavily in recent years in developing drones both for export and for China's military and domestic security needs.

Western defense officials and experts were taken by surprise in November, when at least 25 Chinese drone models were on display at an air show in south China. Several models were also shown at an exhibition of police and antiterrorism equipment in Beijing in May.

"The market for military robotics has gone global, and China is looking to be a major producer and exporter in that market, just like the U.S.," said P.W. Singer, the author of "Wired for War," a book about the revolution in military robotics.


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