The Pointer — a small pilotless spy craft that can be carried in two 40-pound backpacks — has been developed by a California firm for remote-controlled use by infantrymen in combat.
Equipped with a video camera, the model airplane-like equipment can be assembled in two minutes. It is battery operated and can hover for a maximum of six hours.
Troops in the field can launch it to find targets for missiles or artillery, explore beach areas before amphibious attacks, look for mine fields, prepare for ambushes and various other uses.
During trials at the Naval Air Test Center, Pointer met all requirements in assembly time, range, speed and target acquisition. Two men carried it into the field, set it up and made a successful launch. The craft flew at 45 mph below 500 feet altitude, identifying people, roads and landmarks.