Tim Faucett, who owns APlus Mobile which makes mobile computer units that manage robots and unmanned aircraft vehicles for the U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin, believes we’ll need to protect ourselves from drones, and not just the ones being piloted by the military and government.
“There are going to be private drones, there’s going to be commercial drones,” he told Co.Exist’s Zak Stone. “Everybody’s going to have access to a drone. And people are going to have good intentions with them, and people are going to have bad intentions with them.”
Don’t think Faucett is some kind paranoid conspiracy theorist — his claims are credible. Drones are being employed domestically for surveillance and law enforcement.
However, Faucett thinks we should be concerned about those with “bad intentions.” That’s why his startup Domestic Drone Countermeasures recently filed the first of nine patents for, as Stone put it, “a system that will detect and disable drones before they have the chance to film their targets.”
Faucett was hesitant to reveal too many details about the system, but he did say it would be able to identify UAVs by their electromagnetic signature, alert the system owner and “neutralize the drone’s capability to see you with its camera.”
To debunk chatter circulating on the Internet that his system is some sort of weapon, Faucett was blunt.
“We don’t interfere with the drones navigation in any way. We don’t jam anything. We don’t intercept anything… . This is non-combative. That’s really important,” he said. “We’ve taken great pains to design systems that aren’t going to get shut down or be outlawed or become illegal.”
In fact, he even has a sense of humor about his system’s video interference capabilities. “The camera just won’t be able to look at you. Actually, at some point, we can show the operator at the other end a little movie or something,” he said, according to Stone, with a laugh.
Assuming the system operator would be able to choose the video, the possibilities are endless and beg the questions: What video would you choose to show intrusive drone pilots? Though it doesn’t have to be a music video, I might go En Vogue’s “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It). Or maybe a video of the NBA’s All-Time Greatest blocked shots.
Faucett says his team may be able to get the system on the market in a matter months. Until then, keep your eyes peeled.