France is now using golden eagles to take down rogue drones

france trains eagles rogue drones golden eagle flight
If you happened to be in charge of taking down rogue drones, what solution would you go for? A shoulder-mounted, projectile-firing bazooka, perhaps? Or maybe an electromagnetic defense shield? Or how about something a little more low-tech, like a highly trained golden eagle?

The bird-based solution has been deemed the most effective by the French military, which this week showed off the impressive skills of its four new recruits, each one able to spot, chase, and grab a drone from the sky in the matter of just a few seconds.

The predatory creatures, which began training last year, were reared to associate the multi-rotor copters with a tasty meal.

Starting in the coming months, they’ll be used to intercept drones — mainly consumer models like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro or Mavic — spotted flying near some of the country’s military air bases, and could potentially be used to protect airspace over restricted areas such as airports and prisons.

Worst case scenario

Some security experts fear that terrorists could fit explosives or other materials to a drone and fly them into crowds or into sensitive locations like government buildings. Such an act occurred in 2015 when a political protester attached radioactive material to a quadcopter and landed it on the roof of the Japanese prime minister’s office in Tokyo.

With threats like this in mind, the eagles will form part of security efforts at special events such as Bastille Day, G20 summits that bring together leaders from around the world, and international conferences like last year’s climate summit in Paris.

The French government woke up to the potential threat posed by drones following a number of mysterious flights a couple of years ago around several of its nuclear power stations, as well as over famous Paris landmarks.

Commenting on alternative solutions for taking down rogue drones, a spokesperson for the French Air Force said, “In certain situations [where falling debris could land on a crowd], the drone cannot be shot down,” adding, “The eagle, along with other means, can enable us to intercept the craft without causing any further damage.”

It’s not the first time that the majestic creatures have been trained up to tackle illegal drone flights. Dutch police are already using the bird of prey for the same purpose, describing its method as “a low-tech solution to a high-tech problem.”

Emerging Tech

Notre Dame fire: How drones and a robot called Colossus helped limit the damage

The fire that devastated the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday shocked many around the world. In a bid to prevent even worse damage to the structure, Paris firefighters opted to deploy drones and a robot called Colossus.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Emerging Tech

Watch the fearsome DroneHunter X3 pluck rogue UAVs out of the sky

How do you stop enemy drones in their tracks? DroneHunter X3 is a new autonomous anti-drone technology which outruns and then captures rogue drones in midair. Check it out in action.
Emerging Tech

Watch the huge Stratolaunch plane take to the skies for the very first time

The massive Stratolaunch aircraft -- the world's largest in terms of wingspan -- completed its maiden flight in California on Saturday. The successful outing takes it a step closer to becoming part of a launch system for satellites.
Emerging Tech

Drown out noisy neighbors and rest easy with these white noise machines

Some people are more sensitive to sound during sleep than others. Luckily, there are a number of white noise machines on the market to mask the noise. Here are our five of our current favorites.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Emerging Tech

Watch a pack of SpotMini robot dogs perform a terrifying feat of strength

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robotic dog is now going around in packs, and the results are somewhat concerning. Check out the video to see what kind of shenanigans 10 of them got up to recently ...
Emerging Tech

New gunfire-detection system alerts police of shooters in seconds, not minutes

The Safe Zone Gunfire Detector is a fast gunfire-detection system that could help avert potential tragedies in public places like schools, malls, or anywhere a mass shooting might occur.
Emerging Tech

NASA chooses a special spot for its next crewed moon landing

Following the U.S. government's announcement last month of a desire to see American astronauts set foot on the moon again in the next five years, NASA has revealed a location on the lunar surface where it would most like to land.
Emerging Tech

Adidas has created a running shoe that’s made to be remade

Adidas has unveiled the Futurecraft Loop running shoe that it claims is the first performance footwear to be 100% recyclable. The shoe is the latest green initiative by the sportswear company and will go on sale in 2021.
Emerging Tech

Yale scientists restore cellular activity in a pig’s brain hours after its death

In what some may view as a porcine version of Frankenstein, Yale University scientists have restored circulation and cellular activity in a pig’s brain four hours after its death. The study is likely to be used to study brain function
Emerging Tech

Russia’s robot news anchor gives human TV presenters hope

Human news anchors anxious about robots taking their jobs will be feeling reassured this week after the appearance on Russian TV of a news-reading android that clearly needs a bit of work.
Smart Home

I have seen the future, and it’s full of salad-making robots

Think that robots bussing tables, tossing salads and baking bread is a futuristic concept? It's actually not as far away as you might think. Robots took center stage at a food robotics summit in San Francisco this week, where they showed…