Now that everyone with a few hundred bucks to burn can become an amateur drone pilot, we’re seeing quadcopters buzzing all over the place, including places they’re not supposed to fly. That’s where the drone-hunting Airspace comes in. Like a bird of prey, it hunts down other flying drones and knocks them out of the air.
Using machine learning software that’s constantly improving the Airspace’s autonomous capabilities, a user can either specifically target a nearby drone using a mobile app, or the flying sentry can identity them itself using “machine vision and deep learning to detect anomalies in the sky and classify rogue drones”. Here’s to hoping a seagull in the wrong place at the wrong time doesn’t get classified as a target.
For safety reasons, instead of destroying a target drone when it makes contact, the Airspace fires a tethered net to capture the other craft and safely return it to its landing pad. No one wants drone debris, including spinning propellers, flying all over the place when the two drones make contact.
There are currently no details on when the Airspace will be available, for how much or who will be able to buy one. Its creators, Airspace Systems, are positioning the drone for use by law enforcement, governments and even private venues that don’t want camera-equipped drones flying by. Will the average homeowner, annoyed at their house being buzzed by the neighbourhood kids, be able to buy one? We certainly hope so. This is the 21st century version of a guard dog.