Drone Interceptor pops its own props to deploy a drone-catching net
Over the years, we've seen a number of drones that are designed to capture other drones. One of the latest, aptly named the Drone Interceptor, utilizes detachable net-pulling propellers to get the job done.
Designed by Lithuanian hacker Aleksey Zaitsevsky, the aircraft takes the form of a quadcopter with a very high power-to-weight ratio.
This characteristic allows the Drone Interceptor to quickly take off, reach the troublesome target drone, and circle around it to get a good look – an onboard camera helps with the latter, by transmitting real-time video to the ground-based operator.
Once it's been determined that the other drone should indeed be brought down, the Drone Interceptor gets positioned underneath it. Upon a command from the pilot, its four propellers then rapidly accelerate and detach from the frame – at the same time, a packed Kevlar net which the propellers are attached to is also released.
As the propellers proceed to fly upward, they pull the net open between them, so it wraps around the other drone. With its own propellers now jammed by the net, that aircraft proceeds to fall to the ground.
The main body of the Drone Interceptor also falls, although it's suspended from an automatically deployed parachute as it does so. It also emits a loud beeping sound while it descends, allowing it to be more easily retrieved for reuse.
Zaitsevsky envisions a scenario in which ground patrol vehicles would be equipped with multiple Drone Interceptors, each copter in its own launch container. Whenever a trespassing drone was spotted entering a restricted area, the driver/operator could stop and send one of the Interceptors after it.
He told us that it will probably be one to two years before a commercial version of the aircraft is ready. In the meantime, you can see a Drone Interceptor prototype in action, in the video below.