- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) - Central Michigan University has obtained a miniature helicopter equipped with a special camera that will help researchers take better images of Great Lakes wetlands.

The 6-foot-long unmanned aerial vehicle takes high-resolution images in 334 colors. It flies at about 10 miles an hour and as high as a 40-story building.

Benjamin Heumann of the university’s Center for Geographic Information Science says specialists will use it in research projects that battle invasive species and protect rare plants and the Great Lakes.

The camera is so advanced that it will show individual plant leaves throughout a wetland.

Heumann says it also might have agricultural uses such as mapping disease, detecting weeds and monitoring fertilization.

A team will use the vehicle for the first time this spring at a Washtenaw County wetland.

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