Commercial drones and guns have been combined before, with people kitting out their drones to fire Nerf guns, and even Roman Candle fireworks!
But now, a new drone-gun hybrid has been created to be used for good – the DartDrone from a company called Haevic. They have modified their SuperDrone model to carry air guns which fire darts, to be used by vets, farmers and those in the game animal industry.
The base model SuperDrone has a collapsible six-armed multirotor, and can be equipped with a thermal camera for spotting predators or trespassers. The model has been used to check up on farm animals for a few years now.
The DartDrone takes this to the next level, thanks to a 35mm, double-barrel pneumatic dart gun. But it hasn’t just been bolted to the bottom and that’s that… Haevic have adapted it to make it much more robust than its predecessor, increasing the size of the propellers by two inches.
This allows the drone to easily carry a load of up to 10kg, takes its top speed to over 40mph and allows it to stay airborne for between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on how hard you push it or how the weather affects it.
But arguably the best feature of the DartDrone is the goggles that the pilot wears. Not only does it give the pilot a drone’s-eye view of what’s happening, but it also allows them to control the dart gun with head movements. This means the gun will tilt up and down according to how the pilot angles their head, and a crosshair on the screen allows them to aim the dart. The DartDrone is said to be accurate from up to 30m away when using the recommended air pressure in the gun.
The DartDrone is native to South Africa, but America is the next destination where the full kit will set buyers back around $14,500 (£11,500) when it becomes available later on this month. This includes the drone, the dart gun and its fixtures, a 10-channel radio, a GoPro Hero 4 Silver, battery and the flight goggles.
You can see a video of the drone in action, and it’s pretty impressive! Although the aim isn’t the best, but what do you expect from a hovering air gun?!