Drones with cameras, also known as quadcopters or miniature unmanned aerial vehicles, have been around for years, and are steadily growing in popularity. There are a number of leading quadcopter makers, including DJI, Parrot, Hubsan, and Walkera, which makes a drone that can be used with a GoPro camera. The sales of drones are increasing amongst consumers who enjoy flying them, just for fun and to gain a better perspective on sporting events or outdoor adventures, such as the person catching the quadcopter in this image taken at the Head of the Charles Regatta.
However, The National Park Service (NPS) has banned drones in all national parks in the United States, citing a negative experience for visitors. And along similar lines, a recent article in Popular Science outlined a newly launched, slightly controversial solution for stopping unwanted drones.
Camera drones can videotape their surroundings, to the delight of users, but to the dismay of certain people and organizations who would like to keep their privacy intact. Recognizing an opportunity, Rapere, the company that makes the “intercept drone,” has designed a quadcopter with 12 fast cameras that help it identify other flying objects to attack. The “intercept drone” then drops a tangle line onto the offending UAV’s rotors, bringing it down.
It’s not clear whether this product would be legal, or if it will even be sold, but it does seem to be getting attention for its unique solution to a new challenge. If Rapere does go into mass production, that bodes well for the production of camera modules, which will be needed in vast quantities at that point, ostensibly to both man the interceptor drones and to fill orders for the replacing the drones that they brought down.