Should Eagles be Used to Capture Rogue Drones?

Police in the Netherlands are training eagles to capture rogue drones. Tests will last a couple months to determine if the practice is safe for the eagles.

Animals hate drones. That’s clear. Whether it’s bees, cats, eagles or chimpanzees, quadcopters are not welcome in the wild.

Now police in the Netherlands are looking to use animal instinct to regulate drones. The Dutch National Police have partnered with Guard From Above, a bird training company, to see if eagles can safely take down rogue drones.

Here’s how it would work, according to IEEE Spectrum:

“After snatching the drone out of the sky, the eagles instinctively find a safe area away from people to land and try take a couple confused bites out of their mechanical prey before their handlers can reward them with something a little less plastic-y. The advantage here is that with the eagles, you don’t have to worry about the drone taking off out of control or falling on people, since the birds are very good at mid-air intercepts as well as bringing the drone to the ground without endangering anyone.”

In the video demo at the top of the page, you can see an eagle easily capture a DJI-looking drone. The questions that remains, however, is what danger, if any, does this pose to the eagles? Here’s what Guard From Above says on its FAQ page:

“In nature, birds of prey often overpower large and dangerous prey. 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. The results are not yet known. We are working closely with the Dutch National Police on the development of our services.”

So, what do you think? If it’s safe, should eagles be used to take down rogue drones? Create your free Robotics Trends account today and share your thoughts in the comments.

[Via] IEEE Spectrum

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe:  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.


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