Drones can be dangerous, and we've seen consumer-grade drones used for all sorts of nefarious purposes. Back in 2018, some drone sightings interrupted travel plans for 140,000 travelers in London, and drones were reportedly used in an attack against the U.S. power grid last year, too. There are a number of products to take drones down from the sky, from the humble and time-tested shotgun, gun-like deployed nets from DroneShield and ground-based drone net cannons, to more creative solutions, such as very cool and extraordinarily illegal signal scramblers. Lithuanian hacker Aleksey Zaitsevsky has another option with the prototype of a high-speed racing drone that can self-destruct, using its own propellors to spread out a net to take down other drones.
The propellors detach from the drone to widen the net, aiming to take down offending drones. Image Credit: Aleksey Zaitsevsky
It's one of the coolest designs we've seen for drone take-down technologies, and it has the additional benefit of being potentially cheap to deploy; a good racing drone operator can use the two cameras to position the drone -- the front-facing camera can be used to find the drone, and the top camera can be used to position the net exactly where it is needed, before detaching the individual rotors to send the net toward the offending drone.
The cool thing about designing the defensive drone this way is that by using racing drone components, the device can be extraordinarily fast -- as you'll know if you've ever been along to a drone racing event -- and drones that carry a payload tend to be slower and heavier. The Interceptor Drone can easily catch up with and intercept most other consumer drones. Once it has deployed its rotor-net, a parachute deploys and the bright orange drone floats gently down to the surface while emitting a beeping sound so you can go collect the brains and body of it for re-use at a later date.
The demo video is beyond cool -- check it out above -- and there are more details on Zaitsevsky's website.