Drones have a pesky habit of flying into inappropriate places, including the flight path of airplanes. Governments around the world are working out ways to crack down on off-course drones, which include jamming radios, geofencing and hacking them to force a landing. The Dutch National Police is trying a slightly different tack: training eagles to bring down drones.
Like the raptors they evolved from, these eagles are trained to snatch a drone out of the sky and fly it safely away from most people. This prevents the drones from spiraling into a crowd. Whether this anti-drone system is safe for the birds and their exposed talons has yet to be seen. However, from the video it's clear that these birds have no problem grabbing even a fairly sizable DJI drone.
This method, developed by a group called Guard From Above, would most definitely be illegal in the U.S. But eagles in the wild have shown a natural inclination to attack drones on sight (as have hawks and chimps). Dutch police will run the tests for a few months before they decide if it is a viable technique for combating errant (or poorly flown) drones in the friendly skies.
Japanese officials are toying with the idea of using a net to capture rogue drones. Which do you think is the smarter solution? Sound off in the comments below.