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No pilot required

It's all fun and games 'till someone gets a propeller blade in the eye.

Not everyone's gadget craving can be satiated by Hello Kitty pirates or Barbie MP3 players. If you've ever wondered what military folk dream of finding under their Christmas trees, you might wander the aisles of the Navy Opportunity Forum being held this week in Arlington, Va.

Lite Machines' Voyeur
Lite Machines

This year's show featured all sorts of unmanned aerial vehicles that can be used to fly (or swim) up ahead to check out potentially dangerous areas while their human operators stay at a safe distance.

Let's not delude ourselves. These things don't come cheap. This one, from Lite Machines, is expected to cost less than $2,000 if it makes it to market. But if we can program it to seek out doggie land mines before we take a stroll in the park, it might be worth every penny.

Check out some of the other drones on display at the conference on sister site