Parrot AR.Drone floats into damaged New Zealand cathedral, returns with haunting video

Whenever disaster strikes, robots are among the first to scope out the damage. Rarely, however, do they return with footage as eerie as what this Parrot AR.Drone recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the wake of Monday's 6.0-magnitude earthquake, engineers sent the $500 bot into the city's Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament -- a 106-year-old Roman Catholic church that had sustained significant damage, rendering it too dangerous for humans to enter. The iPad-controlled quadrocopter swooped in and captured rather depressing images of the cathedral's battered interior. The video's quality may be low, but its creepy quotient is high: shattered stained-glass windows, piles of debris, stray pieces of iconography -- it's all quite heavy. Head past the break to see it for yourself.

[Thanks, Ross]