They're cool to look at, can be used to take selfies and might even be capable of planting billions of trees. However, there's a far darker side to drones too. They've been involved in four near-misses with commercial aeroplanes over the last few weeks, have been used to deliver drugs to prisoners, and are routinely used as a 'safe' and easy way to bomb fellow humans.
A company called Liteye Systems has now created a system that's been dubbed the 'death ray' for drones. The firm, made up of UK-based Enterprise, Chess Systems and Blighter, has unveiled the Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS), which is capable of switching off a drone from up to a mile away.
The machine looks every bit as intimidating as you'd expect it to, resembling a giant, beige, multi-barrelled gun. It works in a similar manner too, albeit in a far less explosive manner. The three pointy bits fire out radio signals to bring down mischievous flying aircraft, and Liteye Systems says that brief blasts shouldn't greatly affect mobile phone reception in the surrounding area.
It all sounds very serious and, unsurprisingly, Liteye is hoping that AUDS attracts the attention of government agencies. “The US government, like everyone else, has critical infrastructure and if they don’t feel like they can protect it, they’ll pass laws that will hamper progress and hamper current use,” said Rick Sondag, the vice president of Liteye Systems.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below. [Guardian]