Is it a drone? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s a trained eagle hunting down an unmanned aerial vehicle like it’s a slow and useless animal that it wants to eat for dinner.
The Dutch National Police has decided to take a rather unusual approach to capturing rogue drones. While others have tried nets, the Dutch approach is to train a raptor to swoop up the offending aircraft like it’s prey.
The police force is said to be testing other electronic and physical solutions, but right now it’s in the middle of trial period where eagles are coached to identify and capture drones. The birds appear to drag the drones — in this case, DJI phantoms — off much like they were lunch.
It makes some sense. Eagles are damn good at intercepting other flying creatures, and the video (in Dutch, sorry) certainly proves that the ability translates well to drones. Though one does wonder what might happen if the eagle attempted to bring down a large drone, with feathers meeting big rotors a rather unpleasant thought.
Still, it’s not confirmed that the technique will actually be used in anger. We’ll have to wait and see if eagles turn out to be more a effective solution than nets in the long run. [ Netherlands National Police via Reddit via IEEE Spectrum]