A UK firm has come up with a new way to disarm enemy drones that sounds like it might be the cheapest solution yet – it throw nets at them like a hunter.
OpenWorks Engineering, a firm based in Northumberland, has dreamed up a shoulder-mounted device that looks similar to a bazooka, but instead of missiles, it uses compressed air to shoot out shells containing a net and a parachute to stop a drone in its tracks up to 100m away, and land it without damaging the device for intelligence-gathering purposes.
The SkyWall 100 weighs 10kg and it contains an on-board computer and holographic scope which work together to predict where to fire to stop the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in mid-flight, although the solution is not foolproof, so accuracy of the shot is affected by the human operator and other factors, such as if the drone were to suddenly change course after the shell was launched.
The idea is that the SkyWall 100 can offer a solution to stopping rogue drones in an emergency that is both affordable and portable, which is a stark contrast to the other anti-drone solutions utilising heavy hardware that have so far been developed by various aerospace and defence technology providers around the world so far.
The Skywall 100 can also be reloaded in just eight seconds and the firm says that other features can be added to the shells including audible and visual alarms and tamper-proof marking systems.
No prices have yet been released as it depends on which features the customer would like to include, but we could see this device being used by both police SWAT teams and the military as a quick preventive measure if those large anti-drone laser cannons aren't around, or if an army of drones were to attack.