As the popularity of drones increases, so does the need for protection against unwanted aerial intrusion or careless operators.
SkyDroner, made by Singapore-based security device developer TeleRadio, is a surveillance system designed to detect unwanted drones. But that's not all: Upon command, it can actually take control and land the unmanned aircraft. The system can prove useful in protecting events, ports, homes of public officials, prisons and critical infrastructure.
"Drones have been increasingly used as improvised explosive devices and smuggling of drugs and weapons into prisons and even for taking video of celebrities in the privacy of their homes," Jason Quek, TeleRadio's regional sales director, told Eyes On Events.
Eyes On Events recently visited the company's research facilities in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, to see a demo of the technology.
Eli Lo | Eyes On Events
SkyDroner, an anti-surveillance system
In some instances, an intruder drone can even be landed into a cage at a specific coordinate, where it would then be contained and prevented from relaunching.
But in many countries, the act of taking over another drone — even for defensive purposes — is still considered hacking and thus, illegal.
It's a largely unregulated space, which is causing concern for security developers. "As drones will be an indispensable part of future technology, regulation of drones is essential," Quek said.
An estimated 7 million drones will be sold in the U.S. by 2020, according to Federal Aviation Administration.
Quek said the demand to protect against intruders is far exceeding the pace in which regulation is taking place. TeleRadio said it's currently in discussions and testing its device with governments in Asia and the Middle East as demand for anti-drone systems increases.
The SkyDroner costs less than $75,000, but the price will vary depending on the size and quantity of a contract.
Another player in the space is SkySafe, an anti-drone technology backed by Andreessen Horowitz.
SkySafe's radio wave technology can detect and stop rogue drones from entering unauthorized areas. The start-up has a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.