A super-serious British fellow snipes a drone out of the sky with a net-cannon in a new promotional video that looks like it could have come from MI6’s Q department (but not the recent sassy hipster quartermaster, the Desmond Llewelyn good one). The SkyWall1000 Drone Defense weapon is the latest in a long line of unmanned aerial vehicle countermeasures, in which each solution is more comical than the last: a radio-wave jamming gun, a drone-intercepting drone, eagles trained to snatch drones out of the sky.
Rogue drones pose two problems to those who wish to stop them: First, the small, quick-moving UAVs can be tough to shoot down; and second, even if you were to hit the flying devices with a traditional firearm, the blast from a shotgun could destroy it, which is bad because cameras on drones may store potentially valuable evidence — as heroin-smuggling drones already have shown. After the cannon’s net captures the UAV, a parachute deploys above the drone and gently lowers it to the ground.
Skywall’s inventors, UK startup OpenWorks Engineering, describes it as “cost-effective” but it’s not clear how pricey the prototype Skywall bazooka is. To paraphrase Jurassic Park’s Donald Gennaro, esq., the gas-powered, guided-projectile launcher looks heavy and therefore expensive. Tokyo’s drone-on-drone approach might be a bit more feasible for less militarized ventures, and birds of prey are surprisingly affordable creatures.