By Cameron Scott on Aug 1, 2013 11:27 am

The words robot and drone may conjure up images of a sleek, austere future, but some of the most compelling use cases for the machines involve situations that are too dangerous, or just plain messy, for a human to handle. To wit, two recent grads of the U.S. Air Force Academy have patented a drone that climbs into a building via the water or sewage pipes. The inventors, Kyle Fitle and David Carte, described the vehicle to the Washington Post as a way to facilitate communication between first responders and people trapped inside a compromised building.
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