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Fly the stranger skies with these 12 oddball drones

Not every drone is a simple quadcopter. Some of them are shaped like seagulls, have claw arms, carry pinatas or look like famous Star Wars vessels. Meet some of the weirdest drones to ever take flight.

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Amanda Kooser

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1 of 12 Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Sunscreen-pooping seagull drone

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No...it's a drone! A really, really weird drone. Explore a flying world full of Star Wars lookalikes, burning superheroes and airborne beer deliveries.

This drone looks like a seagull. You can see the wings and the markings, two feet and a beak. It may also be one of the odder drones ever built. An advertising company invented the seagull drone for a 2016 Nivea sunscreen commercial. It flies over a beach and "poops" sunscreen on the children playing below. Don't think too deeply on this one. It's just plain strange.

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2 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

Litter-scooping drone

For April Fools' day in 2015, cat-litter company Tidy Cats decided to make a litter-scooping drone dubbed the Clump Claw 2000. The drone consisted of a small flying machine with a slotted scoop attached to the bottom. The gag product completely failed to actually scoop any litter, but it was an amusing stunt for a day full of practical jokes.

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3 of 12 Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

R2-D2 away

Star Wars fan Don Melara modded a regular quadcopter drone into a flying homage to R2-D2. The airborne droid is nicknamed "Arturo" and includes LED lights, a camera and an autopilot navigation system. Don't ask him to make a trench run, though. There are no weapons on board.

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4 of 12 Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Human Torch

The "Fantastic Four" movie arrived in 2015. One of the more entertaining publicity stunts for the film involved the flying of a Human Torch drone. The fiery drone took to the air looking very much like a burning human body. The movie bombed at the box office, but the drone sure looked impressive.

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5 of 12 Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Pinata drone

Most pinatas have their lives ended while dangling from trees during parties. This particular pinata is different because it's attached to a drone. The pinata is shaped like a gummy bear and was filled with cereal marshmallows prior to its airborne demise. Retailer Vat19 put the drone together to celebrate topping the 2-billion-view milestone on its YouTube channel in 2016.

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6 of 12 Eric Mack/CNET

Beer drone

This is a beer drone, a very special drone capable of delivering a cold brew directly to you. All is right with the world.

This particular beer drone flew in 2014 for an Anheuser-Busch InBev marketing event for Bud Light. The custom-built quadcopter is capable of carrying a single bottle of beer at a time, but surely the onward march of technology will one day bring us an entire six-pack by air.

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7 of 12 Eric Huismann

Apple drone concept

This is not a real Apple drone, but it's definitely a well-thought-out concept. Graphic designer Eric Huismann created a series of images of what he imagined a drone made by Apple would look like. It features sleek lines, a black-and-white color scheme and a perfect bit of Apple logo branding.

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8 of 12 Prodrone

Weight-lifting drone

It's about time we got a drone with grabby hands. The Prodrone PD6B-AW-ARM features two clawed arms that can heft up to 22 pounds. Those weird claw appendages can also be used to help the drone perch on surfaces like a bird. Let's just hope it doesn't become sentient.

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9 of 12 Propel

Millennium Falcon in miniature

Travel to a galaxy far, far away with a mini version of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. Propel's model of Han Solo's famous spaceship puts you at the controls of your own adventure. The drone maker says it can reach speeds of up to 50 mph (80 kph) and can engage in laser battles with other Propel toy drones.

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10 of 12 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Goodbye, Fleye

The Fleye drone was created to provide a safer alternative to the open-blade drones that currently dominate the market. Fleye is designed with a protective grid that makes it resemble a flying soccer ball.

Fleye successfully completed a Kickstarter in 2015 with the aim of delivering the drones in late 2016. Unfortunately, production was called off this September due to an overall lack of finances. Kickstarter backers have been promised refunds. The idea was popular, but the reality of producing the drone didn't pan out.

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11 of 12 Domino's Pizza

Pizza by air

Hungry people in New Zealand may have the opportunity to order pizza for delivery by drone thanks to a pilot program in Auckland. International chain Domino's tested the pie-in-the-sky service in August.

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12 of 12 Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Splatter-paint drone

The Pollockocopter attempts to channel the spirit of drip-paint abstract artist Jackson Pollock through modern drone technology. The quadcopter from Cooper Copter hefts a payload of a single paint-filled balloon, delivering it onto a surface with a mighty splat. The result is a fun colorful "painting," but it's not likely to light up the world of modern art.

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