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Growing use of hobby drones raises safety and privacy issues

Published on Feb 22, 2014 8:13 AM

For $1,500, remote-control (RC) fans here can buy a mini-helicopter that can fly as high as 1km, go on autopilot and take pictures or film videos in the air.

As prices continue to fall, these drones are expected to become a more common sight here. And not just among hobbyists, but also commercial firms using them to make movies or wedding videos or to inspect tall buildings.

Yet given Singapore's dense urban landscape, the increasing use of these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is raising concerns.

A battery-powered drone can weigh more than 10kg and could cause serious injury if it crashes. And its potential as a tool to spy on people means there are privacy issues as well.

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