Japan police drone interceptor – 警視庁のドローンキャッチャー

On Dec 10, 2015 the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department demonstrated a new instrument in their tool kit for dealing with rogue drones.  Watch the above video from JiJi Press which shows the demonstration.  The police drone uses a net-like attachment as it intercepts and captures another drone in mid air flight.

Technologically, the configuration it looks rather simple, however, it also seems to be effective:  Chase the rogue intruder drone down with a fast, maneuverable drone and make it crash into a net hanging below the interceptor drone.  The captured drone can then be flown out of harms way.

With the possibility of a terror attack being on everyone’s mind, the Japanese police are moving to be prepared for upcoming big events such as next May’s 2016 G7 Summit to be held in Japan and in 2020 the Tokyo Olympics.

Update May 2016: Japanese police to use drone catcher system for security for the G7 Summit.  Source: Sankei

Similar Intercept System

Earlier this year, in Jan 2015, the French company Groupe assmann demonstrated a drone interceptor system by their group company Malou Tech.

Picture of the Malou Tech drone interceptor
Image credit: Groupe assmann Malou Tech

New Japan Drone Rules

On the same day as the police demonstration, Dec 10, 2015, Japan implemented new and tough regulations for drone use.  Some of the highlights:

  • Drones weighing 200 grams or more are banned from flying
    – over crowded residential areas
    – at altitudes 150 meters or more above the ground
    – near airports
  • Exceptions to above can be granted on case-by-case basis by transportation ministry
  • Operators must keep their drone at least 30 meters from people, buildings and cars
  • Drones are banned from locations where large crowds are present, such as at festivals and exhibitions.

The complete regulations can be found on the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism website … although available only in Japanese.