While drones can be used for innocuous (and even charming) purposes, they’re also prone to be used in ways that cause headaches for others – flying too close to aircraft and snapping photos of celebrities from the sky, for example. One way to deal with pesky drones rudely invading your space is to just shoot them down, but thanks to a team of California-based developers, there’s a less violent solution: the Rapere, a drone that hunts and takes down other drones.
The Rapere (Latin for destroy, drag off or snatch) is the brainchild of a group of developers with experience in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry. Since the malicious use of drones is inevitable, “there should be an option to thwart it,” according to the team’s website.
The drone-hunting drone sits on a charging base and can be taken outside when the owner wants to deal with a bothersome drone. Once the Rapere is sent into the sky, it will scan the surrounding airspace for drones. (The website says the Rapere can distinguish a bird from a drone.) When it spots one, it can fly over the transgressing drone and drop a tangle line into the rotors, causing it to crash to the ground.
For those wondering if using the Rapere to down other drones is legal, you won’t get a firm answer from the website: “That depends on how you plan to use it, and where you live. The Rapere itself is legal.”
The site isn’t clear about other pieces of important information, such as the cost (“It won’t be cheap”), availability (“Not sure”), how the company will prevent people from abusing the Rapere (“We don’t know yet”) and who will be able to purchase it (“Buyers will need to be qualified”).
“Right now we are flying under the radar for commercial reasons, but all will be revealed in time,” according to the Rapere’s website.