Described as being a hybrid between a missile and a quadcopter, the DroneBullet looks like a miniature missile but has the maneuverability of a quadcopter. It’s designed to lock onto an enemy drone, pursue it, and ultimately crash into it and knock it out of the sky before it reaches its target.
The device is designed to address the ever-growing threat represented by bad actors or organizations using drones for nefarious purposes.
“This is only the beginning,” Noam Kenig, AerialX CEO told technology news site Digital Trends. “As drones get more portable and available, there’s a real risk of people using them for harm. You need some way to take them down.”
Launched by hand, the DroneBullet is reported to have a takeoff weight of 910 grams, a range of four kilometers (about 2.5 miles), and a speed of up to 350 kilometers-per-hour (~218 mph) in a dive attack. To deploy it, a user needs only to identify a drone target in the sky and then let the DroneBullet take care of the rest.
The device includes a camera and neural network-based components that enable it to calculate the optimal trajectory and flight path needed to hit its target.
“It can track objects autonomously and will even work out exactly where to hit its target, depending on its speed and whether [its target is] a quadcopter or fixed wing drone,” says Kenig. “That could be from above, below, or from the side. It works out where the weak spot is and goes after it.”
“If it sees a small drone like a Phantom, it will hit it full-force from below. If it’s a bigger target, it can change the attack mode and attack from above. That’s usually the most sensitive part for drones, where the GPS module and multiple exposed propellers are housed.”
The DroneBullet doesn’t use any explosives to destroy its target, says the company, just the kinetic energy supplied by its impact. If by chance it survives its initial collision, it possesses the ability to recalibrate in order to pursue a second target or return to the ground.
The company says it has received purchase orders for the DroneBullet from both the military and law enforcement, in the U.S. and overseas.