A Japanese security company plans to rent out a private drone that takes off when intruder alarms are tripped and records footage of break-ins as they happen, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.
The helicopter-like device is equipped with a small surveillance camera that can transmit live pictures of a crime taking place.
"The flying robot could take off if our online security systems detect any unauthorised entry," Asuka Saito, a spokeswoman for Secom, said.
"It would enable us to quickly check out what's actually happening on the spot," she said.
The machine with four sets of rotors is based on a model provided by Germany's Ascending Technologies and equipped with Secom-developed software, camera and other devices, Saito said.
The company says the world's first autonomous private drone for security use measures 60 centimetres (24 inches) wide and weighs 1.6 kilogrammes (3.5 pounds) and will allow factory managers to monitor areas left uncovered by static cameras.
Firms in Japan will be able to rent the drone as part of Secom's online security system for around 5,000 yen ($58) a month some time after April 2014, Saito said, adding the company would also like to offer the service in other countries.