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Tokyo police are using drones with nets to catch other drones (telegraph.co.uk)
134 points by kawera on Dec 12, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 51 comments

I recall that in the beginnings of World War I, planes were primarily used as surveillance tools. So the germans and french would send their planes above a battlefield, and the pilots would see each other, sometimes even wave at each as they passed by.

A little bit later someone brought a shotgun on one of the planes and the rest is literal history.

I'm very curious as to what the reaction was of the first pilot that was shot at. My guess is he was probably be thinking more "Wow, what an asshole," than he would be thinking that the aggressor's action makes sense in the context of war.

That probably was their reaction considering it's usually the governments that have issues with each other, not the people. For instance, I have no problem with Russians or Chinese, I think in general they're nice people, as with any population, but our governments have problems with each other and that causes us to fight.

I get we're, for the most part, fighting the ideologies of the other country, but it's a real shame we can't live in peace. It's the few bad apples - the greedy, the criminals, the oppressors, the deceiving - that ruin it for everybody.

That generally how I think when I "dislike" a nation. Its not individuals, but the governments.

Probably the thought, "Next time I'm bringing a machine gun!"

That's exactly what the little drone said when it got stuck in the police drone's net.

> "Wow, what an asshole,"

Which has a long history between the Germans and French...

Much longer between Brits and French.

Maybe something like - " Bruh... Seriously dude?"

The version of this I heard is that the first air-to-air shots were fired during the Border War (US / Mexico) in around 1911 or 1912. Somebody unloaded his six-shooter and didn't hit a darn thing.

Just before WWI, Caproni designed an airplane with a machine gun mounted above the propeller [0], but the military wasn't that interested in it. It wasn't until the invention of the interrupter gear (credited in part to Roland Garros and part to Anthony Fokker) that air-to-air combat got to be really deadly, on account of pilots being able to fire accurately at other aircraft.

[0] http://www.museumofflight.org/aircraft/caproni-ca20

Note that prior to that gear you would hit your own propeller.

Before, Machine guns were either mounted outside the propeller circle (which made aiming harder) or propellers had deflectors on the back which made them less efficient.

... and a little (quite) dangerous.

I heard bags of bricks were one of the first weapons brought to the skies. This is the type of thing prone for many apocryphal stories.

I heard that they were dropping hand grenades and bombs on people below before shooting other planes in the air.

People will probably start building bigger drones with bigger nets to catch the police drones. It's just a matter of time.

or smaller drones to go thru the nets. or drones that don't look like drones:



"Bionic Bird benefits from strict quality controls that are so rigorous that each bird is built like a prototype." ....um, what?

Ehhh.... Reminds me of the story about when the Soviets were cloning the B-29 to make the Tu-4. Supposedly Stalin ordered an exact copy of the American bomber, and so the copies were made exact down to the bullet holes.

What was Stalin's reaction?

Don't know, nobody lived to tell about it.

Bullet holes, brown M&Ms, it is all about attention to detail.

I think they might not have a native English speaker. Check out the title of this official video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFS2JWUkdvw

A flawed prototype does no one good. Could imply that the specs are high too.

Begun, the drone war has.

The ancient profession of netmaking will be completely relevant to high tech. Science fiction writers give up.

Or you know, swarm the skies with tons of small drones making it impossible for the police to catch them all at once.

Or bring scissors to cut the net?

Or drones with blades that cut as they turn.

None of these countermeasures will matter after the Tokyo police start injecting stomach acids that digest the victim drones from the inside out.

Short clip of the drone catching a drone:


Seems it would be equally effective, and a lot less weight, to just drape a bunch of monofilament lines below rather than a full-on net. Those would get tangled in the "bad" drone's rotors well enough, I'd reckon.

Running steel cable or nets, instead of monofilament wire, is pretty much SOP for denying an area from rotorcraft. There's a pretty cool article on Wikipedia about prison escapes by helicopter [1] that explains how this is often implemented in high-security correctional facilities.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_helicopter_prison_esca...

I like it how there are green or red helicopter icons in the table to indicate success or failure.

Yeah, somebody had fun with that article. It's one of my favorites on Wikipedia.

But then you don't get the reusability, unless you have spools and can cut the lines, which probably gets you back to the weight of a net.

A modern version of barrage balloons.

Is flying your drone away from the nets resisting arrest?

Game of Drones!

This is beyond funny/awesome to me. Apologies that this doesnt add anything to the discussion other than my own feelings about the comic-like start to the anime-style-cyberpunk-future we have all been subconsciously building for the last 70 years....

Do checkout: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/1155690... which is linked in that same article. It makes me wonder if these drone-catching techniques will be focused on Fukushima/nuclear related protests or fly-overs to get independent radiation measurements.

The only next counter-logical (criminal) course of action I can think of is counter thieves using drones with nets to catch the police drones with nets.

Or laser immolation? Or a cloud of little wires to clog the propellers? Magnetic attack? Helium balloon defense? As someone said above: Begun, the drone wars have.

Can't decide between "fascinating high-tech solution (drone)" and "fascinating low-tech solution (net)". Which one is it?

I don't know but my gut reaction to the video was: "That is so f---ing cool I can't even believe it."

Something like this seems like it would be more efficient: http://www.cadincadout.com/dronedefender-radio-gun-waves-dow...

That seems dangerous if the quadcopter falls down in the middle of a freeway or something

Right. And therefore rather pointless as the reason to capture these drones is because of safety issues.

It reminds me Watchbird https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/29579

Watching this gave me a distinct "the future is now" feeling. Odd-shaped hovering craft designed to take down other hovering crafts would look at home in most scifi movies.

It's official: we're living in the future.

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