New safety tool nabs wayward drones out of the sky

Brittany A. Roston - Jan 13, 2016, 3:37pm CST
New safety tool nabs wayward drones out of the sky

Small drones are just powerful enough to get an operator in trouble. Whether the operator is intentionally doing something forbidden like using a drone to snoop or something accidental like veering into protected air space, a new tool has been designed to snatch that drone out of the sky while keeping innocent bystanders safe. Simply referred to as the “Drone Catcher,” this new tool takes down drones by shooting a net at them.

The drone catcher was created by Michigan Technological University’s associate professor of mechanical engineering Mo Rastgaar. Speaking of his inspiration for the catcher, he pointed toward World Cup soccer and the snipers positioned to keep the audience and athletes safe.

Said Rastgaar, “I thought, ‘If the threat is a drone, you really don’t want to shoot it down—it might contain explosives and blow up. What you want to do is catch it and get it out of there.” That spurred him to develop a safer way to take down drones, and it can be used for more than just sporting events.

The system works well through a drone of its own. The drone feature a launch system, which itself features a net attached to the launcher through a rope tether. The drone launching system can be used from distances up to 40ft away. The net shoots with a large enough spread that fast, flexible drones won’t be able to zoom away. Once in the net, the offending drone’s rotors become entangled in the net. The operator then maneuvers it away from the crowd and safely disposes of the unwanted drone elsewhere.

SOURCE: Michigan Tech

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