Don’t stray too far, drone operators, or else eagles may swoop down and grab your unmanned ship like a helpless bird.
The Dutch National Police Corps in collaboration with dutch firm, Guard from Above (GFA), are training eagles to take down small drones that may find themselves entering restricted airspace.
With the rise personal drone sales, drones can somewhat become somewhat of a nuisance because of a growing number of negligent owners. Even bigger than that, drones can potentially be used for dangerous purposes such as delivering an explosive payload into a crowded stadium or city, spying, or getting in the way of commercial aircraft.
In the video above, the eagles extend their talons, grabbing the drone mid-flight before taking it to the corner of the training arena just like it would with another smaller bird.
Police agencies across the world have been looking into different drone take-down techniques such as using nets fired from a gun or jamming signals, but it appears that using Eagles may be a more effective solution as a free-falling drone could still injure those below. Eagles on the other hand would deliver the drone back to a safer point for collection.
The most obvious concern would be the eagle’s safety as spinning drone blades can be quite dangerous. However, the training team is working on developing a protective sheath to protect the eagle’s talons should the spinning blades come in contact with them.
Eagle drone take-downs obviously won’t be a round the clock initiative, but the Dutch police are hoping to implement it at events that draw large crowds such as at music festivals and sporting events. Eagles could also be kept on stand-by at airports as incidents involving near misses between drones and airplanes are slowly on the rise, causing worry and panic for passengers, airport and airline official alike.