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Drone that hunts and takes down other drones in development

by Mark Tyson on 15 January 2015, 13:50

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacnvj

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Drones were a big thing at the recent CES 2015 in Las Vegas. For an example of the range of new drones, or UAS (unmanned aerial systems), launched at CES you can take a peek at CNet's gallery from the event. However not everyone likes the idea of these drones hovering around willy-nilly. Some might want to thwart drones illegally invading their privacy, for instance, and perhaps the Rapere Intercept Drone is the answer to their drone woes.

At the time of writing there are no live videos of the Rapere in action, only some basic diagrams and a FAQ. However the team behind the project say that they have worked in the UAS industry for years and are working in collaboration with computer vision experts to finesse the drone targeting system. They are targeting the professional market and the Rapere will be priced accordingly, the developers don't want this device to be employed to disrupt legitimate drone use.

The Rapere Intercept Drone has been designed quite differently to the drones that it might seek to remove from the sky. It is definitely built for speed. Since it is made to simply take off, intercept and take down it is designed to use up its batteries (for speed and targeting computation) in a short time; perhaps needing only a 2 minute flight to complete its task rather than the drones it targets which have a 15 to 20 minute air time.

It finds and closes in on the target drone thanks to software that uses its in-built 12 camera 90fps vision system. Then it hovers a little above the target drone and drops an entanglement rope upon it. Your Rapere should then return and land for you to equip it with a new tangle line.

Of course there are questions about the device's real-world capabilities, the legality of its use and when/if it will ever make it to market availability. If it doesn't make it to being a finished product I'd still like to see some actual videos demonstrating this anti-drone drone in action in the meantime. A range of alternative, more visually exciting, drone-killing mechanisms would also be appreciated.

Via CNet.



HEXUS Forums :: 51 Comments

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“The first rule of Robot Club is, don't talk about Robot Club” :P
A range of alternative, more visually exciting, drone-killing mechanisms would also be appreciated.
Stunt kite or twelve-bore shotgun? The latter could have a whole sport aspect - e.g. “there's a another drone, … pull” (a la clay pigeon shooting). And then there's archery practice…
They are targeting the professional market and the Rapere will be priced accordingly, the developers don't want this device to be employed to disrupt legitimate drone use.
Actually a question on this - is there any legitimate reason for these mini-/micro-drones to be over your property? I know that Maplin were suggesting that your could use these for remote inspection of your roof etc, which sounded reasonable.
Most well designed quadcopters can cope with losing a rotor, and hexa or octos will just laugh until you take out at least 3 depending on which rotors you get.
If you own property, I'm not sure at which altitude it stops being yours, but if for whatever reason a drone strays into your airspace I suppose if you were feeling particularly bitter you could bring the tango down. Or you could hunt Amazon drones, when they become a reality, assuming Interstellar style drone hunting isn't a possibility ;)
Anyone get the feeling that this is really illegal? Little bobby just lost control of his drone and you destroyed his drone. But you were being paranoid. That's fine, no charge of damaging personal property for you!

If people are worried about the miss use of personal drones with camera's on, just imagine the miss use of a drone that can hunt down other drones and destroy property.

At the moment, I think we should stop asking ourself “Can it be done?” and start asking “Should it be done?” Because arming these won't end at a bit of string, that's for sure. Next will perhaps be a net ? Then some kind of item to hit it with like an extendible arm. Oh, great idea, lets attach a paint ball gun to it and load it with hard clay shot…