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​Ingenious use of drones: Deep-fry a turkey from a safe distance

There are about 1,300 cooking fires on Thanksgiving, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than three times as many as occur on any other day of the year. Part of the problem: the lure of the deep-fried turkey trend.

Between 2003 and 2013, the commission received reports of more than 125 turkey fryer-related fires, explosions, burns, smoke inhalations and lacerations.

"Turkey fryer fires can be explosive and result in serious burns," Glenn Gaines, Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration, said in a statement last fall. "Only use a turkey fryer outside and away from your home. Never use it in a garage or on a porch. Don't overfill the oil or leave the turkey fryer unattended."

He might have added: try a drone.

IntelligentUAS, a Maryland company that sells unmanned aircraft systems, released a Thanksgiving video of a DJI S1000 drone (cost: about $6,000) plucking a turkey from a pan and airlifting it across a parking lot to a waiting pot of boiling oil. Controlled by a professional UAV pilot, the drone hovered briefly over the pot before dipping the bird gingerly into the fryer.

The video warns viewers not to try this at home.

  • Amanda Schupak

    Amanda Schupak is the science and technology editor at CBSNews.com