Drones used for some unusual and amazing tasks

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For better or worse, drone aircraft are coming to airspace near you.

Recent headlines highlighted some amazing and odd uses for unmanned aerial systems. Just this week the U.S. Air Force managed to fly an F-16Falcon fighter jet unmanned, essentially turning the sophisticated warplane into a drone.

NASA has for years used variants of the military’s Predator drone for scientific research. The U.S. Department of Defense also authorized the California National Guard’s use of a Predator for monitoring efforts around the Rim Fire in August.

On the bizarre side are stories about drones delivering tacos or burritos, or even following children as they walk to school.

Unmanned aircraft, especially those capable of hovering in place or carrying payloads, catch attention. Brook Briggs with Sandy-based Saxton Horne Communications anticipates marketers putting that to use in advertising.

“They’ve been doing a lot more of them in Europe, I think, than they have in the U.S. but it’s starting to catch on here,” he said.

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