Eagles 'Trained' to Take Down Drones: Truth Is, It Comes Naturally
February 4, 2016 Julia Zorthian / TIME & Matt Brian / Engadget.com
The Dutch National Police Force may enlist eagles to help take out illegal drones during emergencies. Police paired up with a raptor training company Guard from Above to train an eagle to recognize, capture and transport a drone with their talons, as part of efforts to simplify anti-drone defenses. Are the Dutch being played for suckers? It turns out that eagles (and hawks) don't need to be "trained" how to attack drones. Numerous YouTube videos show it comes naturally.
It's Raptor vs Predator
Dutch Police Train Eagle to Hunt Drones Julia Zorthian / TIME
(February 1, 2016) -- The Dutch National Police Force may enlist eagles to help take out illegal drones during emergencies.
Police paired up with a raptor training company Guard from Above to train an eagle to recognize, capture and transport a drone with their talons, as part of efforts to simplify anti-drone defenses. The strategy would use eagles to combat drones in situations when it could be too dangerous to use more common intercept methods, such as police drones fitted with nets.
The above video shows a demonstration of the eagle's work, the National Police said in a statement. The force is also exploring nets as an option, but trained eagles would give them more control over where the captured drones are taken. They will decide upon adopting the program within a few months.
(February 1, 2016) – Forget anti-drone drones, one of nature's most majestic hunters may soon play a valuable role in taking down dangerous UAVs.
As part of a new trial, the Dutch National Police force has begun training eagles to intercept troublesome drones during an emergency, when another capture device might put people below at risk.
In collaboration with raptor training company Guard From Above, Dutch police taught an eagle to recognize a DJI drone. Once in sight, the bird flies toward its mechanical prey, snatches it with its enormous talons and then takes it to safe place.
The eagle is one of the two "physical" methods the force are trialing -- the other being a safety net -- but a trained bird of prey gives officers more control over where the offending drone is brought down to earth.
What makes eagles effective drone hunters? Their feet have four powerful toes that are strong enough to grip and carry heavy objects, whether it's a wild animal or a heavy UAV. But even though they have toughened talons, drone rotors could still damage the bird.
A spokesperson says the force will look at ways to better protect their flying counterparts while they conduct trials over the next few months. Nature at its Best: Wild Eagles Don't Need to Be 'Trained' to Tackle a Drone
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