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"We are all repositories for genetically-encoded information that we're all spreading back and forth amongst each other, all the time. We're just lousy with information."
- Neal Stephenson

Copseye  
  A small floating "eye-in-the-sky" surveillance drone used by police in an extensive park.  

In this near-future story, areas are set aside as anarchy zones. Police use a special kind of remote surveillance drone to ensure that there is no physical violence, but are otherwise uninvolved.

Someone at police headquarters had expected that. Twice the usual number of copseyes floated overhead, waiting. Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up. Each a television eye and a sonic stunner, each a hookup to police headquarters, they were there to enforce the law of the Park.

No violence.

From Cloak of Anarchy, by Larry Niven.
Published by Analog in 1972
Additional resources -

This story is an interesting exploration of the concept of anarchy in a real setting. Makes for an interesting contrast with the same kind of setting in Robert Heinlein's Coventry (if you did not agree to live up to the rules of society, you were given the choice to live with the asocials in a fenced-in environment).

Remote drones are under development to serve a variety of purposes.

The Traffic Surveillance Drone project in Georgia has a ducted fan drone under development; it uses an aluminum chassis with a carbon composite body structure to provide stability.

You might also want to check out the endearing entry for little bird, from Darwin's Children by Greg Bear.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Cloak of Anarchy
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Cloak of Anarchy
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Copseye-related news articles:
  - Eye Ball R1 Remote Surveillance Camera
  - SkySeer UAV Drone Soars Over L.A.
  - Small Robot Surveillance Balloons Like Niven's Copseye
  - Hovering Crowd Control Beam
  - Police iDrone UAVs With Tasers
  - Miami-Dade Police First To Use UAV Drones?
  - Spherical Flying Robot Hovers, Flies At 40 MPH
  - CUPID Intercept Drone Like Niven's Copseye

Articles related to Surveillance
PredPol Predicting Crime As It Happens
CUPID Intercept Drone Like Niven's Copseye
Is Privacy Too Expensive?
MeCam Selfie Nano Drone Like Karen Traviss' Bee Cam

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