Kakahh! Dutch Authorities Enlist Bald Eagles To Take Out Rogue Drones
As such, many governments and law enforcement agencies around the world are looking for ways to tackle the influx of drones. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has initiated a drone registration program to keep tabs on who’s flying drones that weigh between 0.55 and 50 pounds. During the first 30 days of enrollment, over 300,000 drones were registered thorough the FAA’s website.
Likewise, in Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has stepped in to offer its own form of aerial justice with regards to rogue drones. The law enforcement agency is employing “interceptor drones” that use a 3x2 meter net to nab other drones that are operating in restricted areas.
While drones capturing drones is definitely cool stuff, nothing can compare to what the Dutch National Police, with the assistance of Guard From Above (GFA), have in store for rogue drones. GFA has trained birds of prey to track down drones and “take them out” using their massive talons. If you check out this video that went viral last year, you’ll see that eagles — in this case a wedge-tail eagle — show no mercy to drones invading their airspace:
In the case of the eagles trained by GFA, instead of just knocking the drones out of the sky, they grab ahold of them and take them to a safe landing spot. This critical step is what will keep random drones from falling out of the sky endangering hapless humans below.
“For years, the government has been looking for ways to counter the
undesirable use of drones,” said GFA founder and CEO Sjoerd Hoogendoorn. “Sometimes a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem is more obvious than it seems.”
While we have no doubt that birds of prey can successfully capture smaller drones without endangering themselves, some of the beefier drones with hardened propellers seem like they could potentially deliver some crippling damage to the winged fliers. Of course, GFA is looking into this, writing:
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.
We must say, this is a rather innovative way to tackle drones that have run amuck, but we wonder what PETA would say about using birds of prey for such missions…