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Hawks vs. drones: An idea for grounding problem drones just so nutty it might work

Ever since hobby drones burst into headlines last year for buzzing commercial jets and interrupting firefighting efforts, U.S. regulators and state legislators have grappled with how to ground problem flying robots without causing damage and injury on the ground.
Dutch police may have come up with a solution: training raptors to take down nuisance unmanned aircraft. A video by a Dutch Company, Guard From Above (motto: A low tech solution to a high tech problem) shows how this might work. A raptor swoops down on an airborne drone, snatches it up in its talons and lands it safely on the ground.

As nutty as this sounds, it’s an elegant approach to a problem that has bedeviled authorities -- how to safely ground drones flying in restricted areas. If authorities simply knock a drone out of the sky, the subsequent crash landing could cause damage and injury on the ground.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed most of the drone-related bills that the state Legislature passed, including one that would have allowed emergency responders to knock drones out of no-fly zones with impunity. Legislators are back at it this year with a host of bills that tread similar ground as last year. Not one involves hawks and eagles. Not yet, anyway.




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