A drone that brings down drones developed by mysterious team

A team of drone experts says it is developing an anti-drone drone – The Rapere – one that seeks out undesirable drones and brings them down. For the moment, they wish to remain anonymous, hence their website has no address or names of individuals. Just an email address.

The drone, which uses an array of 12 low-resolution 90 fps cameras, flies over its target and drops a piece of line which tangles the unmanned flying machine’s rotors, thus bringing it down.

The engineers, who claim to have years of experience developing drones, say their device can tell the difference between a drone and a bird.

They wrote on their website:

Fortunately for us detecting a free floating object which is well illuminated and far from any other visible object is easy. We can burn lots of watts on the onboard computer, because of the short flight time. This is difficult on normal UAS (unmanned aerial systems).”

Rapere spots a target drone

Step 1: The Rapere identifies a target (Image adapted from: rapere.io/images/slides/1.png)

How does the anti-drone done work?

The device sits permanently on its charging base indoors until its ready for action. When you want to deploy it, simply take it outside, place it on the ground, and press the “GO” button.

The Rapere will immediately take off and scan the sky for drones. After distinguishing drones from any local airborne wildlife, it will fly over the target drone and disable it by dropping a rope onto its rotors.

“After the target drone is disabled, it will return to base and land, where you can add a new tangle-line for a second flight,” the engineers explained.

If you want to test it without destroying anything, you launch it without the tangle line. The website claims it will hover over the target drone until it reaches a time limit, or you press the “Mission-Abort” button. When not equipped with the tangle line, it just hovers over its target without causing any damage.

Rapere with tangle line

Step 2: The Rapere takes off carrying the tangle line and hovers above the target drone. (Image adapted from: rapere.io/images/slides/2.png)

The team said it was not sure when the product would be on the market. Talks are underway regarding its mass production. The engineers also emphasized that the device is still being developed. They added “This also depends on the volume of interest, so please sign up to our mailing list and boost the numbers!”

It will be priced as a professional tool, they explained, which means it won’t be cheap. “We don’t want this to become a toy people can use to disrupt legitimate drone use,” they wrote.

Target drone neutralized

Step 3: After dropping the tangle line, the target drone can no longer fly. (Image adapted from: rapere.io/images/slides/4.png)

The device will be able to down any ‘rotary wing’ like a quadcopter. It will not be effective against the faster fixed-wing drones. It is designed principally to target the drones used by voyeurs and paparazzi that fly over private property.

Regarding who they are, the team members said:

“We are commercial drone developers who teamed up with some computer vision experts to enable the device to ‘see’ and fly itself. Right now we are flying under the radar for commercial reasons, but all will be revealed in time.”

For more information, inquirers are invited to write to [email protected].