The latest weapon crafted to take down wayward drones doesn’t even fire bullets. Battelle’s new DroneDefender is an anti-UAV rifle that can disable any unwanted aerial visitors using radio signals alone.
To bring down drones with no gunfire, the DroneDefender disrupts the radio frequency of any nearby flying vehicles. The device can disable drones from as far as 400 meters away, and, according to the company, starts up in a fraction of a second and can work for five straight hours on a charge.
While the DroneDefender’s all-black stock looks quite like that of an actual gun, the device’s “barrel” looks more like a huge antennae. It weighs less than 10 pounds, though you probably won’t want to frolic around the park with one.
The DroneDefender could prove useful for those looking to keep potentially prying drones away from their household, but there could be dangers if the device gets into the wrong hands. Given its fairly long range, there’s no telling if the DroneDefender would be able to disrupt frequencies on low-flying aircraft, and there’s also a chance of recreational drone users getting their favorite toy knocked down for no good reason.
This hopefully shouldn’t be too much of an issue, as the DroneDefender is built mainly for federal use. (Think protecting the White House or overseas embassies.) The anti-drone weapon is set to roll out in 2016; no word on pricing or plans for a consumer-minded version.