When it comes to taking down drones, Dutch police just punched through the 100% mark on the awesomeness scale. Instead of just blasting rogue quadcopters with special shotgun shells, Dutch cops are training eagles to snatch drones out of the sky.
If you want to hire an animal to neutralize drones, then a bird of prey is the perfect choice. See how it almost lazily intercepts the dumb drone, plucking it from the air and then safely grounding it. It has no problem avoiding the buzzing blades, and as you can see in the video, the bird even covers its kill with a wing after landing, perhaps in case it tries to make a run for it.
The Dutch cops are working with a Hague-based company called Guard From Above, which actually specializes in eagle-on-drone warfare. "Two of the most impressive characteristics of birds of prey are their speed and their power," says Guard From Above co-founder Ben de Keijzer. "They use their strength and speed when they hunt: they are the masters of the air. By using our special training methods, we can teach them to intercept drones."
Other police forces have employed similarly off-the-wall, Saturday-morning-cartoon-style solutions to capturing drones. The Japanese, for instance, deploy drone-carried nets to nab rogue quadcopters. But perhaps these low-tech approaches are the answer. "Sometimes the solution to a hypermodern problem is more obvious than you might think," says Guard From Above.
The eagles, say the company FAQ, are naturally protected from the bites of their victims by the scales on their talons. "Of course, we are continuously investigating any extra possible protective measures we can take in order to protect our birds," says the company, which may put you in mind of eagles in ultralight armor, patrolling the skies over Amsterdam.