Instead of sending workers up to dangerous, hard-to-reach places, a power line company in Xiangyang, Hubei Province, China is now sending up an octocopter drone equipped with a flame thrower to burn off any litter that may have gotten caught in the wires. And yes, it looks as awesome as it sounds.
Once in the air, the operator pushes a button from his controller which ejects a stream of fire, burning away any trash in the most extreme way possible.
The lines themselves are thick and durable enough to withstand the heat, remaining unharmed while engulfed in fire. The operators also seem to only shoot the flames in short bursts, so the cables don't undergo too much stress.
Badassery aside, we don't see any propeller guards that would stop one of the eight motors from getting caught up in the wire, and making one heck of a fireworks show when it goes up in a fiery, spark-filled ball of fury. (Maybe they should work on that.)
Although this seems like the drones most recent attempt to take our jobs, if flying flame throwers is in our future...we at DRIVE/Aerial are happy to bow to our new overlords. Mostly because we like not being burned.