France gets 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, which means the country has a lot of nuclear plants. And in the airspace above those plants, French authorities have discovered a troubling thing: little drones flying to and fro. The AP reports that “a recent spate of mystery drones flying over its nuclear plants, military installations and even the presidential palace” have caused the country’s government to ask scientists to “devise ways to counteract the small — and so far harmless — motorized menaces overhead.”
The U.S. government is similarly interested in anti-drone technologies. American authorities are particularly worried about swarms of small drones.
But if you like your drone deterrence with a bit of French slapstick thrown in, behold the video above. That’s the Drone Interceptor MP200, a net-bearing flying vehicle developed by Malou Tech, a startup associated with the French telecom Groupe Assmann (not a typo or a joke).
The MP200 is designed to autonomously fly up to other drones—and using a suite of on-board sensors—literally drop a net on them. That binds their blades, and allows the MP200 to deliver the offending vehicle away from the nuclear power plant or presidential palace or what have you.
There is a future in which small drones flown by terrorists and governments evolve rapidly—like predators and prey after the Cambrian explosion. Your drone gets a net? Mine has on-board scissors. Your drone smashes my scissors with a hammer? My drone deploys a shield. And on and on.
Or, as the chief of Malou Tech told the AP after one of his drones dropped a 16-ounce water bottle by remote control: “Everything is possible.”