Start-ups take aim at errant drones

A boom in consumer drone sales has spawned a counter-industry of start-ups aiming to bring down drones when they're flying where they shouldn't.

SINGAPORE/TAIPEI (REUTERS) - The rise of the drone is fuelling another new industry - trying to bring it down.

Dozens of start-ups now offer to stop drones flying where they shouldn't - either by disabling them or knocking them out of the sky.

Skydroner's military looking system is just one that is promising to take control of a growing problem.

Teleradio regional sales director Jason Quek said: "What if someone actually carries some items on the drone, for example, explosives, and flies to the designated area and do a detonation. That's going to cause a big headache for our government."

The aerial arms race is fed in part by a confusing array of regulation - or lack of it.

In the US, for example, the law forbids interfering with a drone - someone's private property - exactly what Taiwan's Skynet does - blocking GPS and video streams - where it can.

Dronevision CEO Kason Shih said: "The main difficulty that we encountered was that each country has its own law, and there will be different types of drones. So we have to collect different information, to experiment with their algorithms and patterns to further research and development into its interference."

Anti-drone tech clients range from governments to hotels trying to protect their guest from prying eyes.

Most drones are still remote controlled toys - flown freely for fun.

SwarmX wants to change that - making fleets of aerial workers easy to command.

But not without limits.

SwarmX CEO Pulkit Jaiswal said: "There has to be a big red button where essentially the regulators are able to push, and it brings down all the drones that are not authorised or doing something that is illegal. And that is where, even as a drone manufacturer, as a drone company, I wholeheartedly would go and support that, to say to a point, that yes, there should be a way to override all existing drones even those that are built by my own company."

If drone counter-measures are a natural development - then drones that defend themselves are next.

Expect a drone dogfight overhead.