Will tiny drones become a must-have for soldiers?

A mini-drone in every soldier's pocket?
A mini-drone in every soldier's pocket?

U.S. soldiers are getting another tool to stay a step ahead of the enemy.

Aerovironment, a drone supplier for the U.S. military, has introduced a tiny drone that's designed to be worn on a soldier's uniform. The Snipe, which weighs about as much as a baseball, can be launched from the palm of one's hand. It's designed for close-range surveillance and reconnaissance.

The Snipe has no weapons built in. Its value is in providing aerial video, so soldiers have a better understanding of their surroundings.

Related: U.S. drone registrations skyrocket to 770,000

The quadcopter can fly for about 15 minutes and reach 20 mph. It is controlled via a tablet.

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In addition to the military, Aerovironment envisions selling the drone to first responders. Some firefighters have already begun using larger drones to get a better understanding of the blazes they're battling.

Aerovironment won't be selling the Snipe to the consumer market, which a spokesman described as extremely price sensitive. Aerovironment has not revealed a price for the Snipe.

Related: Researchers use drone to pollinate a flower

The company said it delivered the first 20 Snipes to a government customer this April.

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