Michigan Technological University is developing a drone catcher that could pursue and capture rogue drones that might threaten military installations, air traffic, sporting events — even the White House. It’s a deceptively simple system: a launcher that shoots a big net attached to a large drone by a string. The system can be autonomous, controlled by a ground-based human pilot, or a combination of the two.
After an intruding drone is spotted, the drone catcher takes up the chase and fires the net at it from a distance of up to 40 feet. Because the net is so big and can be deployed so quickly, it can overwhelm even the fastest, most maneuverable small drone. Once trapped, the net swings down below the drone catcher, which ferries its cargo to a safe location.