With the exponential rise in drones over the last couple of years, Marty’s view of the future above would probably not surprise many of us now. Move swiftly forward to 2016 and drones are being used in all kinds of ways; Amazon delivery, couriering contraband into prisons, aerial photography, high speed racing, military actions, to name but a few.
Of course, with the uplift in public use there will be some kneejerk reactions. For example in the states you now have to pay $5 to join a register allowing you to just own a drone. Here in the UK things are a little more lackadaisical, we have something called The Dronecode:
- Make sure you can see your drone at all times and don’t fly higher than 400 feet
- Always keep your drone away from aircraft, helicopters, airports and airfields
- Use your common sense and fly safely; you could be prosecuted if you don’t.
Drones fitted with cameras must not be flown:
- within 50 metres of people, vehicles, buildings or structures
- over congested areas or large gatherings such as concerts and sports events
Obviously, laws are there to be followed, but some do not follow this philosophy, and, in these instances, more drastic measures are needed.
With this in mind, the Dutch National Police have taken the unusual step or going back to analogue to fight the digital drone menace…
They have been training eagles in the Art of drone warfare. The Eagle eyed officers swoop down on the drones taking them out quickly with no danger to themselves or others and transport them to the waiting handlers on the ground level.
The police force are said to be testing other electronic and physical options, but at the moment they are in the middle of trials where eagles are coached to identify and capture drones. The birds capture them in mid-air and take them to the ground. In the case above, DJI phantoms were used. I do not want to imagine a large drone being taken on by an eagle as the rotors are quite large, though I doubt the eagle would attempt attacking anything larger than the Phantoms. Time will tell over whether the eagles will be more effective than nets.
The drone has landed… Thanks to the Eagle!