Researchers from Michigan Technological University have demonstrated their net-shooting “drone-catcher” anti-drone.
The team from the University’s HIRoLab created the device that captures other UAVs by firing a net directly at them, before hauling them away unceremoniously.
HIRoLab’s drone can fly both autonomously and with a pilot controlling it, and carries its prey to a secure location before dropping it.
It’s similar to a drone used by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, which uses a hanging net to catch rogue UAVs.
Associate Professor of mechanical engineering at Michigan Tech, Mo Rastgaar, got the idea for the anti-drone after watching World Cup football.
After hearing about snipers protecting the crowd, he began to doubt their ability to deal with drone attacks.
Last January, a DJI Phantom quadcopter crashed on the White House lawn, while another was flown towards German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a campaign rally.
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Rastgaar and his team therefore set about developing the new system, which can capture drones up to 40ft away.
The research team says the anti-drone could have a range of applications, such as foiling spy drones and terrorist attacks, and enforcing new Federal Aviation Administration laws by capturing unregistered drones.
Rastgaar and his team have filed a patent for the device.