County gets help from eye in the sky

The new quadcopter that was purchased by Rutherford County can be used to take aerial video of government buildings and projects, is demonstrated, on Wednesday.If you should spot that small remote-control helicopter flying over a county building to take pictures, think of it as a tool for the government and not a toy or drone, an official said.

“It’s closer to a remote-control hobby vehicle than a drone,” said Brian Robertson, director of the county’s Office of Information Technology.

Robertson’s staff that includes Communication Manager Lee Harris recently spent $469 on the helicopter and less than $400 on the camera. The tools will be used to take videos to promote the county and examine property damage.

“If the Maintenance Department wants to give us a call about a building, we can use it for that, too,” Harris said.

The helicopter camera, for example, can examine county buildings for maintenance problems that are hard for a worker to see up close, such as leaks on steep rooftops, Robertson said.

Harris used the remote-control helicopter on Thursday to fly over the Blackman Middle School grounds and take video of where workers were moving dirt to prepare for the construction of an annex building for the growing campus.

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