Dutch company Guard From Above released a YouTube video over the weekend touting their low-tech approach to dealing with drones, which is to train birds of prey to take them down.
The company has been working with the Dutch National Police Force on this novel method of ridding the skies of drones that wander into no-go zones.
According to Guard From Above’s website, “Sometimes the solution to a hypermodern problem is more obvious than you might think.”
While the Dutch police have apparently also been working on both electronic and low-tech methods of capturing drones, using nets among other things, the falconry method appears to be working out for them owing to the birds’ ability to hunt and capture fast-moving prey.
Another perk of the bird method is that the animal is trained to drag the prey to a safe area, as opposed to having it simply fall out of the sky where it might do damage on the ground.
Using the tagline “A Low Tech Solution for a High Tech Problem”, Guard From Above claims to be the first company in the world to use birds of prey to intercept “hostile” drones.
Using a similar method in the United States might be problematic, owing to the fact that eagles are a protected species.
The spinning blades of the drone are no doubt one of the trickier aspects of training a bird to snatch a drone out of mid-air.
Addressing the issue on their website, Guard From Above says, “Their talons have scales, which protect them, naturally, from their victims’ bites. Of course, we are continuously investigating any extra possible protective measures we can take in order to protect our birds. The Dutch National Police has asked the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) to research the possible impact on the birds’ claws.”
The Dutch police will be conducting trials with the birds over the next several months to gauge their effectiveness.
Guard From Above’s booth at The Unmanned Systems Expo at the Hague, an event showing off the very latest in drone tech, will likely be one of the star attractions over the next couple of days.