(CBS SF) — People frustrated by drones flying over their neighborhoods may have a new way to fight back.
California-based developers are experimenting with a solution to nonviolently eliminate unmanned aircrafts, which could be welcome news for public safety officials, event organizers and private security firms.
Rapere — which comes from the Latin word rapio, meaning to snatch — was designed by commercial drone developers who teamed up with computer vision experts to enable a drone to see, fly itself then intercept surrounding drones, according the team’s website.
“Having worked in the (drone) industry for years, we’ve collectively never come across any bogus use of drones,” the team said on its FAQ. “However it’s inevitable that will happen, and for people such as celebrities, where there is profit to be made in illegally invading their privacy, there should be an option to thwart it.”
The company said the Rapere starts scanning for drones the moment it’s deployed and can tell the difference between a bird and a drone.
Once a drone is detected, it flies above it before dropping a tangle line into its propellers to send it tumbling to the ground. The Rapere then heads back to base where the operator can add a new tangle-line for a second flight.
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Drones buzzing by buildings captured media attention earlier this year.
In Vancouver, a drone was captured on video flying near a high rise at night. In Seattle, a woman snapped a photo of a drone flying near her condo. However, it later turned out to be a film crew.
Peeping drones have even become a topic on Comedy Central’s “South Park.”
The San Jose Downtown Residents Association is even pushing for a city ordinance to create a drone buffer zone around high rise buildings after several residents have complained of drones buzzing outside their window.
Rapere’s team said the drone is legal depending on how it’s used and where you live. The developers do not yet have timetable for when it will be released and for much.
“Right now we are flying under the radar for commercial reasons, but all will be revealed in time,” the Rapere team said on its website.