Not everyone is a fan of drones. While they have their uses, there are instances when people abuse the technology and fly drones into locations where they are not supposed to be going, such as government buildings and airfields.
Different systems and technologies are being developed as a means to combat drone intrusions, with a report released last month showing that the Dutch National Police has even started training eagles to snatch drones right out of the sky. Most of these defense systems focus on aerial methods, but a new solution looks to break that mold through the form of a ground-to-air projectile.
The SkyWall 100, developed by a team of English engineers from startup OpenWorks Engineering, includes a net cannon mounted on the user's shoulder. The portable cannon, which has a weight of 22 pounds, uses compressed air to send a net and parachute that would take down drones as far as 100 meters away.
The net launched by the SkyWall 100 is as long as a football field, and it tangles with a drone's propellers to disable it. The parachute then pops open, taking down the drone to the ground without causing damage to it.
Targeting the drones with the SkyWall 100 does not fully rely on skill though, as the cannon comes with a targeting computer and a holographic scope which is able to estimate the flight path of the targeted drone. After firing a shot, the cannon can be reloaded in only 8 seconds, which would be helpful in case more drones are needed to be disabled.
According to OpenWorks Engineering managing director Chris Down, the company looks at the SkyWall 100 as a proportionate and cost-effective method for dealing with drone threats.
The startup has not yet released information regarding the expected date of availability and price for the SkyWall 100, though the first units of the cannon are expected to be released to the market by the end of the year.
The drone defense system will be beneficial to consumers who value having their own privacy, as well as to the authorities that are looking for methods to deal with unwanted drones.