Earlier this year, Dutch cops released a video of their drone-busting eagle, trained to take down rogue quadcopters. The video was an internet sensation, but it wasn’t the only accomplishment to come out of the Dutch drone-intercept program. Now, the birds have completed their training, and they have been so successful that the Dutch police have taken on four eagle babies to train up for the next generation of dronebusters.
Here you can see Hunter, a two-year old female eagle, in action. Though the star of this show might not be Hunter, but the amateurish acting during the fake state visit that forms the storyline for the movie:
The eagles are trained to not only take down the drones, but to deliver them to a designated landing spot, away from any crowds, although sometimes, as here, they succeed only in knocking it out of the sky. Females like Hunter are preferred, because they are usually bigger than the male birds, but even then, sometimes a drone may be too big to be safely captured.
That’s why, says IEEE Spectrum’s Evan Ackerman, the police are developing a kevlar talon cover, to protect the birds from bigger rotors.
The Dutch police plan to deploy the dronebusters at various stations around the country, so they can be quickly deployed as needed. They should probably also get their own Saturday-morning cartoon.