Drones, meet your worst nightmare.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become incredibly popular among military groups and civilians alike. However, they’ve become a constant thorn in the side of first responders. Police helicopters and firefighting aircraft are often forced to land too early by errant drones, causing first responders to lose precious minutes when traveling to an emergency. How can police stop drones from flying too close for comfort?
Sick an eagle on ’em.
Dutch police are literally training birds of prey to intercept drones and safely deposit them on the ground.
Most drone interception techniques involve jamming its radios or cutting its connection to the pilot. While effective, these strategies cause the drone to power down and hurtle to the earth, often in places teeming with civilians. Dispatching birds of prey to pluck drones out of the air can help first responders do their jobs without risking injury or property damage.
Here’s a statement from Guards From Above, the company that is training the eagles and hawks:
For years, the government has been looking for ways to counter the undesirable use of drones. Sometimes a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem is more obvious than it seems. This is the case with our specially trained birds of prey. By using these birds’ animal instincts, we can offer an effective solution to a new threat.
Will ISIS start training birds to take out U.S. drones? Probably not because 1) military drones are far heavier and faster than birds of prey and 2) ISIS is too busy executing suspicious birds to possibly use them to its advantage.