A man arrested in a Hawaiian national park… Another taken into custody at a New York City tennis match… Two Americans apprehended near the Brooklyn Bridge…
What do they have in common?
They were all caught flying drones illegally.
Indeed, despite the undoubted benefits unmanned aircraft can provide, many countries throughout the world have strict regulations on drone operation.
The problem is, tough restrictions threaten to crush drone innovation…
Obviously, some drone regulations are reasonable and essential. After all, we can’t have them peeking in on top-secret military facilities, or crashing into people in packed stadiums.
And any system of regulations must have an enforcement scheme. What does one do if someone violates the rules? Fines and other deterrents are sufficient for most transgressions because the potential for harm is very small.
But what about when the prohibited use is happening in an area where danger is real? For example, what do you do when someone flies a drone around the White House and the Secret Service doesn’t know if it’s a mistake, a prank, or potentially something much more serious? You can’t just unleash anti-aircraft fire every time some hobbyist loses control of his toy, but you also can’t risk someone threatening the president.
Well, Paris-based Malou may have the answer…
Allez! Unleash “Le Drone”
You see, France has a drone problem, too.
Specifically, French authorities have witnessed hundreds of drones flying around national security installations, government buildings, and nuclear power plants. And these drones appear and disappear so quickly, the authorities can’t find out where they’re landing, or who’s flying them.
Malou’s solution? Fight technology with technology.
The company recently demonstrated an aerial pursuit-and-capture drone called MPI 200.
This large, muscular beast is equipped with a tracking system and a big net. When an unauthorized drone is sighted, the Malou counter-drone is deployed. It flies autonomously, acquires the offending target, hunts it down, and captures it in its net! It then flies to a predetermined safe area and lands, where human operators can disentangle the intruder from the net and begin their investigation.
Of course, in order to catch up and intercept other drones, Malou’s “aerial cop” needs to be especially powerful. And it is.
Its drone reaches speeds over 60 mph and can handle an intruder drone up to 15 pounds.
Take a look…
France: The Hot Spot for Drone Technology
Needless to say, this technology and power doesn’t come cheap.
Right now, Malou’s MPI 200 interceptor drone costs $25,000 euros ($28,300). But if you’re the head of security at a sensitive chemical plant and want to know if those pesky drones are from hobbyists, activists, or terrorists, that’s probably a pretty reasonable price.
In any event, it’s interesting that this drone is from France. Back in January, I reported that fellow French tech firm, Parrot SA (PARRO.PA), “won” the Consumer Electronics Conference with its large variety of great new products, including a more advanced drone for consumer use.
It could be that France will evolve into a hot spot for the development of these drones. And with Malou’s hunter drone and Parrot’s upcoming consumer drone, what are the odds that at some point in the future, a Malou drone will capture a Parrot?!
To living and investing in the future,