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This article was published on February 18, 2017

    This fire-breathing drone is having none of your rubbish

    This fire-breathing drone is having none of your rubbish
    Rachel Kaser
    Story by

    Rachel Kaser

    Internet Culture Writer

    Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

    A power company in China found a novel way to eliminate trash on power lines — set it on fire.

    A video posted to Chinese social media site QQ shows what appears to be a test of the process in Xiangyang, Hubei Province.

    In the video, the eight-bladed drone flies to the line and releases a huge plume of fire at the trash. After the burned trash falls off the line, the drone descends to a man in uniform holding its controller.

    While this could damage the very power lines it’s trying to preserve, it also minimizes the risk of human injury. These drones could also take care of trash in areas where it would be impossible to send a human.

    This isn’t the first time drones have been used by power companies. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2015 that utility companies in Atlanta, Chicago, and San Diego received permission to use drones to inspect infrastructure and check for gas leaks.