Police in the Netherlands are joining forces with “Guard From Above”, a “raptor-training company”, to teach Eagles to snatch drones from the sky midflight.
Currently, regulations across Europe differ to how and where drones can be used. However, law enforcement agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to enforce these rules as drone sales soar.
Engineering solutions to date have ranged from jamming signals, or shooting a UAV out of the sky with either conventional weapons or more high-tech solutions such as lasers. In both these scenarios, there is a danger to people on the ground as the Police have no control over the drone as it crashes.
Eagles, however, are biologically hard-wired to drag their prey off and eat it elsewhere. Exactly what the law-enforcement are needing to do with drones.
This new approach presents a whole new set of challenges to Engineers as the look at ways to protect the birds themselves.
Sjoerd Hoogendoorn, who started Guard From Above, has stated that safety is the top priority for the animals, and no birds have been seriously harmed so far. The company is now looking at ways to develop protective gear for their talons, and even full body armour.