The Rapere is a purpose built quadcopter with a very specific mission, to identify and attack other quadcopters. The idea is simple.
Having worked in the UAS industry for years, we’ve collectively never come across any bogus use of drones. However it’s inevitable that will happen, and for people such as celebrities, where there is profit to be made in illegally invading their privacy, there should be an option to thwart it.
Is this a weaponized drone? Not exactly, not unless you consider a “tangle line” a “weapon.” The Rapere identifies its target using machine vision, rapidly moves to a position above the offensive drone then drops a line that tangles itself in the rotors of the victim quadcopter.
In place of missiles or cannons, Rapere will strike with string by lowering a tangle line onto the rotors of its prey. In order to find that prey, Rapere is set to be fitted with 12 fast cameras, looking for the motion of another well-lit object in the low sky. Rapere flights will be short sprints, designed to identify a target, attack, and return to a charging station all within a short, two-minute fight span.
With only one use-case, searching and destroy, is the Rapere even legal? Who can buy/own the Rapere?
Of course, while the drone itself is a legal piece of technology, it’s clear that it too could be abused. The device has been invented as a defence against invasive drones, not as a random search-and-destroy tool.
Consequently, the Rapere will likely hit shelves at a high price point as a professional tool and not a toy. Its developers have also said that buyers will have to be qualified to own it.
Legal or not, even the team behind Rapere recognize the potential for misuse.
How will you stop people abusing this? We don’t know yet. We have a number of ideas, such as requiring disclosure of ownership with the local police department before we will ship the drone. Let us know in the comments if you have any good ideas, it’s definitely a concern for us.
Are you now concerned about the safety of your drone? While researching this story, I learned about an interesting related instructable, “Only 3D print Anti-Drone Cap.” The easy to complete (provided you have a 3D printer) instructable, created by maker5741 comes with a STL file for 3D printing. So how does maker5741’s solution work?
Anti-Drones drop string into other drone’s rotors to jam them and cause them to crash. This cap stops the string from entering the rotors. This cap is to be adjusted and customized to fit your drone, have Velcro attached to it, then attached to stop anti-drones from attacking the rotors.
I usually like to end my articles with an “About” area that ties in a little information about the company, team, person or location involved, however I wasn’t able to in this case. The development team that I’m simply referring to as the “Rapere Development Team” is currently in stealth mode and they provide very limited information on their website. I’ve provided what I can and plan on expanding the information as more information becomes available.
About the Rapere Development Team
We are commercial drone developers who teamed up with some computer vision experts to enable the device to ‘see’ and fly itself. Right now we are flying under the radar for commercial reasons, but all will be revealed in time.
If you’ve got questions regarding the Rapere, then I suggest you contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.