No, what you see above isn’t a clever and well-done Halo cosplay. It’s a SkyWall 100, the latest tool used to bring down drones when they’re flying in unauthorized areas.
Looking like a futuristic RPG launcher, the SkyWall 100 fires off a canister at distances upwards of 100 meters away. Inside the canister is a net, which spreads out like Spiderman’s web when close enough to the intended target and incapacitates the drone by tangling up its rotors.
Unlike other net-based methods though, this little piece of technology makes sure to not completely destroy the drone. Once the drone has been wrapped up inside the net, a parachute is deployed to bring the drone back down safely to land. Not only does this protect the drone, it also ensures no one (or nothing) underneath where the drone was flying becomes a victim.
Like many advanced RPG systems, the SkyWall 100 uses a smart system that can target a drone and help the person firing the net adjust their aim to ensure the drone is captured.
In addition to the SkyWall 100, OpenWorks, the company behind it, has also announced the SkyWall 200 and 300. The 200 version is designed to be mounted on a tripod and offers further reach than the 100. The 300 ups the ante even further by dedicating itself entirely to a turret meant to be permanently attached to a building or vehicle.
As reckless drone operators become more pervasive, it only makes sense that companies will reveal more ways to safely take them down. The SkyWall seems to be one of the more elegant solutions to the problem considering the drone is left undamaged (with the possible exception of the rotors) and is safely brought down to the ground ensuring no one gets hurt if one needs to be taken down while above a crowd.
Pricing isn’t yet available for the SkyWall, but it’s said to be available by the end of 2016. You can find a brochure of the SkyWall lineup here.