NEW YORK - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) #5987-D/A, a Boeing Tracer, was ejected from the US Army in February after several months of tireless work scouting areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan in several surveillance operations.
It still hasn't gotten used to living life in the civilian world.
"Analysing Threat: None," it beeped. "I'm sorry. Every time I go anywhere, I have this tendency to scan the area and the people. It makes everything harder, especially when I hang around at JFK [International Airport]."
The drone also complained about not being able to glide through the city without targeting civilians of South Asian descent and trying to send information to base.
"I don't have a connection to base. It's also really frustrating. Being in the Army has made me slightly more suspicious of any person with brown or slightly dark skin tones. It's just where we worked."
#5987-D/A says that it works for the local government, in assisting emergency services and with several universities for research purposes.
"The jobs are do are okay... I go where there is dull, dirty, or dangerous stuff. I love dangerous stuff, sadly, it is mostly dull stuff. Taking photographs of a burst sewer in Lower Manhattan ain't exactly covert operations in Waziristan."
However, it is for this kind of work #5987-D/A is suited for, measuring only 50m in length, 10m in width, 5m in depth, massing just under 200kg, it can take on under 100l of aviation fuel, giving it a range of a few hundred hours or nearly 24,000km. It's top speed is about 240km/h, making it ideal for keeping an eye on car chases and getting across town easily.
We interviewed some of the humans he works with.
"Oh yeah," said Mayor Bloomberg, "#5987-D/A is a great autonomous craft. I do wish it'd stop flirting with my laptop, but I understand the guy. Army guys want a bit of home-cooked, you know? Oh, wait, my laptop's a Toshiba."