There are a lot of things one might think about when thinking about the Dutch. Tulips, windmills, Dutch treats, Double dutch, etc. If the enterprising Dutch Police have their way though, you’ll soon be thinking about eagles and drones.
The Dutch police are working with the raptor trainers of Guard From Above to see if eagles can indeed be trained to catch drones. These eagles are being trained to find them in the air and catch them.
Once they find them in the air, they are being trained to take them to a safe area, and the birds are then given treats as a reward.
This poses many questions, one of which is aimed squarely at the PETA-crowd. Is it dangerous for the birds? Guards From Above says that “In nature, birds of prey often overpower large and dangerous prey. Their talons have scales, which protect them, naturally, from their victims’ bites. Of course, we are continuously investigating any extra possible protective measures we can take in order to protect our birds.”
The company’s CEO said that “For years, the government has been looking for ways to counter the undesirable use of drones. Sometimes a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem is more obvious than it seems. This is the case with our specially trained birds of prey. By using these birds’ animal instincts, we can offer an effective solution to a new threat.”
While there are clearly limits to the size of the drone such a bird could catch, this is definitely a step in the direction of how we as a society deal with the possibly dangerous possibilities that cheap drones can present.
The Dutch Police plan on testing for a few months before making a final decision to use the eagles in the field.