Silicon Valley launches its fair share of odd-sounding startups, but the Dutch have taken the cake with this one: a company that trains eagles to hunt down and neutralize drones.
Guard From Above, located in The Hague, calls its avian force a "low-tech solution for a high-tech problem." The startup has partnered with the Dutch National Police for three-month pilot program to see if eagles can reliably and safely take down drones that enter restricted airspace.
If Guard From Above's feathered friends can do the job, there could be a market for them. The startup is not the first to enter the ring, though other drone-interception efforts have had mixed results: Japanese law enforcement agencies have experimented with drones that can catch other drones with a net, while a group of British tech companies developed a "death ray anti-drone gun" that uses radio waves to disable a drone's computer.
GFA believes that a solution using natural marvels is far superior to developing some newfangled machine. Leveraging the eagles' instinctual abilities will leave targeted drones with virtually no chance.
"Two of the most impressive characteristics of birds of prey are their speed and their power," says Ben de Keijzer, the company's co-founder and COO, who has been training birds for 25 years. "They are the masters of the air."
We at Inc. wonder how effective this crack team of drone-killing eagles will be long-term once they discover that drones aren't such good eating.
Below, check out the video (in Dutch) of Guard From Above's eagles in action.