The skies may be increasingly busy with consumer drones in the coming years, but if one group of developers has its way, some of them will be plummeting to earth unexpectedly.
Meet Rapere: an “intercept drone” designed to hunt down nearby drones, hover overhead and drop a tangle-line into their rotors, forcing them to crash.
Its makers, a group of drone-industry veterans, have only released simple diagrams of how the device will work – above – and claim they are in talks about mass-production while continuing to develop Rapere.
“We’ve collectively never come across any bogus use of drones. However it’s inevitable that will happen, and for people such as celebrities, where there is profit to be made in illegally invading their privacy, there should be an option to thwart it,” explains their website.
It adds that once it takes off, the Rapere will scan the sky for nearby drones before pinpointing one – “it can tell the difference between a bird and a drone” – disabling it and then returning to base to have a new tangle-line fitted.
“It won’t be cheap like a DJI type drone. It will be priced as a professional tool – we don’t want this to become a toy people can use to disrupt legitimate drone use,” explain the developers, who promise they will try to avoid such abuse.
“We have a number of ideas, such as requiring disclosure of ownership with the local police department before we will ship the drone,” explains the site.
“Buyers will need to be qualified. We’re not sure exactly yet, but we will require some sort of proof of legitimate use, such as public safety officials, event organisers, private security firms, etc.”