You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Business

Innovation Economy

Drones may soon buzz through local skies

In a field in Halifax, James Peverill and ­Adam Woodworth have been test-flying a new kind of aircraft. Its flight plan is set by a smartphone or laptop, using a map on the screen. It can fly for 45 minutes, while taking still photos or video of the ground below. The FocalPlane weighs about a pound, and could cost as little as $250.

Peverill and Woodworth’s start-up, Rotary Robotics, is just one of several local groups working to demilitarize drone aircraft. While the armed forces have deployed unmanned aerial vehicles in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya that cost millions and are sometimes armed with Hellfire missiles, this new fleet will be small, cheap, and geared to tasks like evaluating farm crops, finding missing children, or inspecting bridges.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week