The Mesa County (Colo.) Sheriff's Office has begun using a remote-controlled unmanned helicopter to assist with search-and-rescue operations and other duties.

The law enforcement agency is using the Draganflyer X6 copter, which weighs about two pounds, to complement search operations. The mostly carbon-fiber vehicle is powered by brushless motors and rotor blades attached to the end of three arms, according to a story in the Grand Junction Free Press.

To use the vehicle, the sheriff's office had to undergo a complicated process to gain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Draganflyer X6 is currently classified by the FAA in the same category as a reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle. This is the same classification that is used for the unmanned aerial vehicles used by the military in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the company.

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