The anti-drone arms race just got serious. As tech firms and law enforcement experiment with radio jammers and net-wielding interceptor drones to take down rogue quadcopters, police in the Netherlands are trialling a simpler solution: eagles. The country's law enforcement has teamed up with a raptor training company named Guard From Above to see if birds of prey can be used to safely intercept quadcopters.
In the video demonstration above, an eagle is seen easily plucking what looks like a DJI Phantom out of the air. However, it's not clear how dangerous this is for the bird. Raptors' talons are incredibly sharp and their grip is strong enough to crush bone, but that doesn't meant they're indestructible and carbon fiber props spinning at full speed can easily cut human flesh. In the video, one of the handlers says that the scales on the eagle's legs and feet keeps them safe, but also mentions the possibility of creating some sort of extra protection for them.
Still, given the amount of animals who seem to instinctively want to take down drones (the list includes kangaroos, gorillas, geese, and dogs), perhaps the eagles will get some animal backup soon.
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