This drone helped a SWAT team defuse an armed standoff

Last year, Impossible Aerospace built a drone that’s literally filled with batteries, so it can fly for up to two hours on a charge. Now, the company says a 90-minute version of its US-1 quadcopter has proven its worth to a SWAT team in Campbell, California.

On February 8th, a Denny’s restaurant in Campbell was the site of a nearly 12-hour armed standoff, where a man started his 5AM day with a cup of coffee, but later pulled a gun on a Denny’s employee, according to an earlier report from the San Jose Mercury News. Apparently, the Silicon Valley cops had plenty of toys to help with the situation — police reportedly sent a bomb-sniffing robot inside the building to take pictures of the suspect, as well as using an “audible diversionary device.”

But it was the Impossible Aerospace drone that got an enviable vantage point above the building, where it flew for 45 minutes, using its thermal sensors and standard cameras to monitor the building’s perimeter and assist in the actual arrest.

The company says that though the SWAT team used tear gas canisters to flush the suspect out, the drone’s live video feed let law enforcement see that the gas was leaking out of a kitchen vent rather than getting him to leave. So they added more tear gas, and that apparently did the trick.