New Drone Could ‘Snatch Humans Off the Street’
UAV mimics how an eagle grabs its prey
Paul Joseph Watson
March 15, 2013
A new flying drone developed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania could one day be used to snatch humans off the street.
Justin Thomas and his colleagues at the GRASP Lab have produced an “avian-inspired” claw drone that mimics the way an eagle uses its talons to grab a fish out of the ocean.
A video clip of the drone shows the UAV swooping down at high speed to snatch an object using its 3D printed mechanical claw. By mimicking how a bald eagle sweeps its legs and claws backwards to aerodynamically close in on its prey without the need to slow down, the drone is able to grasp a stationary object with precise efficiency.
Drexel University’s Christopher Korpela is simultaneously developing flight stability software for drones with arms that would enable the UAV’s to carry a weighty object without them falling out of the air. The eventual purpose of the drones would be focused around “interacting with people or the environment,” although that is still a long way off according to Korpela.
Technology journalist Adario Strange envisages a future scenario where a larger version of the eagle claw drone could be used by law enforcement or military to pluck humans off the ground.
“The optimistic view of this development offers a vision of an emergency situation in which a drone could rapidly fly in and save a person from a perilous situation, but it’s also fairly easy to imagine law enforcement and the military using this development to grab human targets in coming years,” writes Strange, reporting for DVice.com.