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Science & Technology

Company trains eagles to take down drones

February 2, 2016 | Comment icon 17 comments



Eagles are adept at intercepting drones. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Lewis Hulbert
A company in the Netherlands has found what it refers to as a 'low-tech solution to a high-tech problem.'
Drones have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, so much so in fact that authorities in many countries have found themselves desperate for new ways to crack down on their illegal use.

To help meet this demand, a Dutch company called Guard From Above has come up with a novel new approach to the problem that involves training bald eagles to chase and intercept the devices.

The remarkable idea has already proven quite popular and actually appears to work.
"For years, the government has been looking for ways to counter the undesirable use of drones," said the company's founder and chief executive, Sjoerd Hoogendoorn.

"Sometimes a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem is more obvious than it seems. This is the case with our specially trained birds of prey. By using these birds’ animal instincts, we can offer an effective solution to a new threat."

So far the company's customers include the Dutch Police who have commented that using the birds as a way to help combat unauthorized drone use represents a "very real possibility".

"The bird sees the drone as prey and takes it to a safe place, a place where there are no other birds or people," said spokesman Marc Wiebes. "That is what we are making use of in this project."



Source: Washington Post | Comments (17)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Peter B 6 years ago
Nothing an air rifle wouldn't sort out. For the drones that is. Maybe not for the drone. But for people below there's a difference between a drone being snatched by an eagle and returned to the eagle's handler and one falling from the sky. I for one don't feel like having to be constantly looking up as I move around outside in case either idiot drone operators can't fly their devices and crash them into me, or idiot objectors with air rifles want to shoot them down so they fall on me.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Darren2505 6 years ago
Not worth it if it risks injuring the bird imo.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Vox 6 years ago
Ha! So what will you all do when they start putting cameras on the eagles huh!? Wait, what...
Comment icon #11 Posted by MJNYC 6 years ago
Not worth it if it risks injuring the bird imo. Agreed! And, why not just make another drone to take out the drone? So absurd that they are using animals that could be hurt in the process. Someday, people will understand that they too are entitled to their lives without us interfering. Unfortunately, I won't see that day but I hope it does happen.
Comment icon #12 Posted by AustinHinton 6 years ago
So, this whole thing is about people "abusing" their drone privileges? And as in typical human fashion, we make animals do our dirty work.
Comment icon #13 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
Agreed! And, why not just make another drone to take out the drone? So absurd that they are using animals that could be hurt in the process. There IS an experimental "anti-drone drone" which projects a net to envelope the other drone. But the biggest problem here is power, electrical or otherwise. Manmade drones (non-military) simply don't fly for very long. A bird, on the other hand, can out-distance, out-maneuver and out-speed a publicly available drone with no problem.
Comment icon #14 Posted by MJNYC 6 years ago
There IS an experimental "anti-drone drone" which projects a net to envelope the other drone. But the biggest problem here is power, electrical or otherwise. Manmade drones (non-military) simply don't fly for very long. A bird, on the other hand, can out-distance, out-maneuver and out-speed a publicly available drone with no problem. Well, maybe they can work on it and make a longer flying drone. That sounds like a much more noble cause.
Comment icon #15 Posted by WolvenHeart7 6 years ago
Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking.. Let's use a rare majestic bird to act as cop to flying machines..Sorry, it just doesn't sit well with me.
Comment icon #16 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking.. Let's use a rare majestic bird to act as cop to flying machines..Sorry, it just doesn't sit well with me. This was a Dutch idea. Not U.S. Also, not all eagle species are rare. The type you are likely referring to is the American bald eagle. Any raptor is capable of being trained for this. (Such as hawks, falcons, etc...)
Comment icon #17 Posted by regeneratia 6 years ago
got some of those eagles flying overhead very often. Maybe I should try training them. Or that beloved Prairie Falcon that is always coming so close to visit. I carry a laser pointer. LOL.


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