Drones are everywhere now, and they're only getting more popular. Even GoPro is developing one of its own. Soon, it'll probably be common to see them overhead all the time and hear the perpetual buzz of rotor noise.
But for law enforcement officials, these flying machines might present some safety and security concerns. For instance, what happens when a rogue drone pilot uses his aircraft to spy on someone or loses control of one overhead at the Super Bowl? As the law doesn't clearly address a lot of the issues attached to private drone flights, it's a dicey situation with more questions than answers.
Thankfully, tech experts (and even some animal trainers) are stepping up to the plate to find remedies to these hypothetical situations. Simply put, we might need a reliable plan to get dangerous drones out of the sky in the future. Here, a few ways to show them who's in charge.
Use an eagle.
It's true: Eagles are being trained to attack drones and take them out of the sky in the Netherlands. The Dutch National Police have initiated a program to train these mighty birds of prey to recognize and disable rogue drones that pose a safety risk to the public or are otherwise operating illegally. It's a lovely exemplar that, as cool as technology-laden drones may be, they don't stand a chance against talons and millennia of natural evolution. The program facilitators are still investigating ways to keep the eagles' toes from being injured by spinning drone rotors as they grip and lock onto the aircraft.
Use an anti-drone drone.
You've heard of fighting fire with fire? Why not fight drones with more drones? A project out of Michigan Tech has an anti-drone drone fire a net out of a cannon to capture and disable other drones. The net remains attached to the drone, so as it flies away after firing its cannon, the captured drone is along for the ride whether it likes it or not.
Use bean bags.
It doesn't take much stopping power to knock a drone out of the sky. All it takes is a bent propeller. When you consider that police have been using non-lethal bean bag rounds to take down perpetrators for some time already, a heavy, high-velocity bean bag makes an obvious choice to knock out a lightweight flying vehicle. Of course, the only trick here is to hit it accurately.
Use a gun that doesn't fire bullets.
A new anti-drone weapon called a DroneDefender fires radio waves — not bullets — to force drones out of the sky by overriding the radio signals coming from the drone's operator. The manufacturer sees it working in a variety of situations, from the White House lawn to embassies overseas, and any place the flying hunks of plastic and electronics are a concern, and firing bullets would be too obtrusive.