We’ve already declared 2015 the Year of Drones. The technology is improving, and the prices are coming down.
But there certainly will be some unhappy campers with all those drones buzzing around. And there’s not much they can do about it.
An anonymous group of drone developers are working on Rapere – from the Latin word rapio (meaning to steal) – a drone designed specifically to seek and destroy rotary-style drones. Rapere doesn’t exist at this point, it’s still a concept, but the founders claim it has worked in a testing lab. They’ve yet to release video of Rapere in action due to commercial purposes.
Here’s how it works. Once you spot an unwanted drone, hit the “Go” button on Rapere to launch it into the sky. It then scans the airspace for drones, visualizes the target drone, flies above it and drops a tangle line onto its rotors, causing it to crash. Rapere’s Twitter feed said this has been done in about 30 seconds in testing scenarios.
The company website says Rapere will be outfitted with 12 cameras pointing in every direction, and claims to be able to tell the difference between birds and drones. The flight time was intentionally designed to be only two minutes to “drain the batteries much faster, and have a much higher power to weight ratio,” hoping to make Rapere much faster and more powerful than other drones to quickly intercept them and return to its base station before the battery dies.
There have been so many legal questions surrounding the drone industry to this point, it’s only natural to question how Rapere could possibly be legal. But the company says Rapere is legal, depending on “how you plan to use it, and where you live.” It also plans to qualify buyers with “some sort of proof of legitimate use, such as public safety officials, event organizers, private security firms, etc.” The company admits it’s not quite sure how it’ll do that, but it’s looking to prevent everyone and anyone from getting their hands on one of these things.
A lot of the details (price, availability) from the Rapere website are vague at this point, but it’s certainly an interesting concept, and I can’t imagine other drone manufacturers would be happy if this hit the market. Then again, they can just create some sort of anti-Rapere software that detects and avoids the drone hunter, or find the Hawk that took out the drone in this video below:[via Drone Enthusiast]