Rogue drones are by definition a serious nuisance, and with some owners seemingly unable to understand a few simple rules about where you can and can’t operate the remotely controlled machines, solutions are being sought by security services around the world.
So far we’ve seen projectile-firing bazookas, net-carrying interceptor drones, and even anti-drone death rays. Police in the Netherlands, however, have decided to go for something rather more, well, majestic.
Describing their “kit” as a “low-tech solution to a high-tech problem,” Dutch cops are now using eagles – yes, the talon-equipped bird of prey – to snatch drones out of the sky whenever they spot one flying in a restricted area.
We first heard about this remarkably effective bird-based system back in February when Dutch police released a video (above) demonstrating the skill, agility, and downright awesomeness of one of its highly trained eagles.
Trials are now complete, police announced this week, paving the way for the eagles to be stationed – with handlers, of course – at key locations where drone flights have been banned, including airports and at special events where large crowds gather.
Unlike this untrained eagle in Australia that last year spectacularly talon-punched a drone clean out of the sky, the Dutch ones skilfully grab and hold onto their motorized “prey,” bringing the machine safely back to terra firma, thus avoiding damage to both the drone and anyone who happens to be underneath it at the time.
Although animal protection groups have raised concerns about this rather unique method for intercepting illegally flown drones, the company training the animal, Guard From Above, insists that bird safety is paramount and that no eagles were harmed at any point during the training exercises.
The Netherlands is believed to be the first nation in the world to use a bird of prey to take down rogue drones, so reckless pilots in restricted zones had better watch out. Their quadcopter will clearly be no match for this stunning feathered flying machine.