Picking through the rubble of war-damaged buildings in combat zones, looking for enemies, survivors, booby traps or worse is one of the most dangerous jobs in the military.

To take the dirt and danger out of mopping up operations, a Pentagon agency is developing a surveillance robo-hawk that could fly through the detritus of the urban combat jungle at 45mph.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — already famous as the maker of some of the U.S. military’s more far-fetched war robots — aims to develop autonomous drones small enough to fit through an open window.

Speeding through unstable buildings or threatening indoor spaces at 20 meters per second, the unmanned aerial vehicle would obviate the need for physical entry that puts troops or civilian response teams at risk.

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