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Japan is using an interceptor drone to hunt down other drones

While regulators in the United States are still working on a legal solution to the ever-growing consumer drone problem, Japan has decided to fight fire with fire using a new drone that specializes in taking out other drones. On Friday, police in Tokyo unveiled a net-wielding interceptor drone that’s designed to capture drones mid-flight. Drone operators caught flying their drones in illegal areas will be verbally warned by police to remove their drone from the area, and if the warning is ignored, the interceptor drone will be dispatched to take it down.

With the increasing popularity of consumer drones, the US has pushed for tighter regulation. The future, however, could look a lot like this net-wielding interceptor drone from Tokyo. Japanese police have unveiled a new ally in the sky to help bring down illegal drones, or those flying through restricted airspace. The interceptor drone features a 3 by 2-meter net that is capable of taking down other drones while minimizing the risk of the aircraft falling and injuring civillians. Officers on the ground will warn the illegal drone’s operator with a loudspeaker to leave the area. If the warning is ignored, the interceptor takes flight and captures the offending drone. According to The Asahi Shimbun and Asian Review, Japan plans to test a single drone on a trial basis starting this month. Further efforts plan to introduce an entire drone squad to protect the city’s most important buildings by February 2016. “Terrorist attacks using drones carrying explosives are a possibility,” a member of the police department’s Security Bureau told The Asahi Shimbun. “We hope to defend the nation’s functions with the worst-case scenario in mind.”

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