Latest in Gear

Image credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Dutch police retire convocation of drone-catching eagles

There just isn't much of a need to intercept robotic fliers.
427 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Police in the Netherlands may have been a tad too hasty in testing a squadron of drone-catching eagles. NOS has learned that Dutch law enforcement officials are retiring the birds (they're going to new homes) and winding down the program. Not surprisingly, the decision is a response to both actual demand as well as the performance of the birds themselves.

To start, there just isn't much need for the eagles -- they were support to thwart terrorists and potential accidents, but there thankfully hasn't been much of a problem. And, like you might guess, even birds trained from youth to intercept drones won't always do what they're told. There was a concern that their performance problems in tests might be magnified in the chaos of real-world conditions. Raising and training these predators wasn't cheap, either.

Dutch police are also ending an experiment that had rats sniffing out fake cigarettes, human remains and illegal fireworks. The rodents couldn't be made "operational," police said.

It wasn't hard to predict that the eagle program would shut down. Even if you discount the utility of the birds, anti-drone technology is advancing quickly enough that technology can likely do the job as well or better. If you can disable drones at will with a portable gun, why spend years grooming eagles that aren't even guaranteed to do what you want? As it stands, we're sure the eagles would rather catch the sort of prey they can eat.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
427 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Disney+ public pre-orders are open, but without deep bundle discounts

Disney+ public pre-orders are open, but without deep bundle discounts

View
Facebook's Libra currency will get half its backing from the US dollar

Facebook's Libra currency will get half its backing from the US dollar

View
Facebook will shut down Group Stories on September 26th

Facebook will shut down Group Stories on September 26th

View
This week in tech history: Android turns 11

This week in tech history: Android turns 11

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr