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California police departments stock up on ‘drone killer’ devices

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Consumer drone ownership has been skyrocketing as of late in the United States. In January of this year, there were more than one million registered drones in the country. That’s up from 600,000 just one year before.

While the overwhelming majority of users are responsible there are always a few idiots waiting to ruin the party. When pilots, either knowingly or ignorantly use their drones to surveil others or fly in forbidden airspace (especially close to airports), police departments are often pressed for ways to quickly and effectively ground the misbehaving crafts.

Sure, they could follow the Swiss police example and literally train eagles to snatch them out of the sky but that method is very time consuming and those uncooperative eagles (damn them) often decide they’d rather do something else. The better solution? Several police departments in California have got their hands on some badass looking “drone killer” guns.

The latest example of these devices (and there are several other companies producing them) comes from IXI technology, a company based in California. Each one of the below beauties will set you back a cool $30,000. They weigh 7.5 pounds each and are 61 cm long.

For $30k each, the design of these devices sure reminds me of the look of the original Nintendo console. Was that intentional?

How do they work?

While these “guns” do not fire a projectile, they do resemble a firearm, are aimed in a similar way and send out radiowaves which disrupt the signal being sent by the controller and the drones onboard computer.

Each and every drone responds to a certain frequency that comes from their controller. The relationship between the control and the drone is referred to as a ‘command and control connection.’ When the drone-killer is aimed by a police officer at a drone and ‘fired’, it interupts the connection. Then, depending on the drone’s programming the UAV will either return to where it was launched from, hover in place or land directly.

So no awesome explosions then?

Unfortunately not. Check out the video below to see it in action.

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