Are you tried of hearing about drones? Is it because you don’t have one or because your neighbor does and it’s driving you batty? If it’s the latter, you’re in luck. The anti-drone drone has arrived and is being tested successfully by police departments in Japan.
Before you get all excited about firing your own personal surface-to-drone missiles, anti-drone technology is still new and anti-drone regulations run from stringent to vague to non-existent. While shotguns seem like a good option (at least to many in the US) and some chimps have already perfected the art of spearing drones out of the sky, the anti-drone drone being used in Japan is more of a catch-and-release type of hunting.
Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department has set up a drone squad that’s being trained in anti-drone maneuvers. (Sounds like a “swat” team). To enforce new regulations regarding no-drone-zones under the revised Civil Aeronautical Law, officers will first try to find the drone operator. If that fails, they will send a 6-rotor quadcopter dragging a large 3-meter-by2-meter net to pursue and capture the intruding drone and bring it to the ground.
If you can’t afford to move to Tokyo and join the police force, there are some other anti-drone weapons under development. For close-up drones, the Drone Net Gun shoots a net that can tangle up a drone from up to 45 feet away.
If the drone is further away and your aim isn’t very good, the DroneDefender gun currently being developed by Battelle will be worth waiting for. It uses targeted radio waves to drop drones right out of the sky at a projected range of over 400 meters (1,300 feet).
Companies like Amazon who are developing drone delivery systems are still most worried about guns being used to shoot their UAVs out of the sky. Right now, every state has different laws covering drones and the FAA has its own for around airports. A man in Kentucky who used a 12-guage to shoot down a drone that was stalking his daughter was not charged with any crime. On the other hand, a man in New Jersey who did the same thing is facing two felony charges.
Sounds like it’s worth it to wait for the catch-and-release drones with nets if you want to stay out of jail. Or train your Frisbee-catching dog to jump a little higher.