I have to admit, this is really clever. It walks the line between "too big to ignore" and "too small to properly prevent" perfectly. Guards won't shoot at twitchy little drones, because that's just asking for collateral damage. Fancy RF devices that could zero in on the controller or zap the plane would be too expensive and techy. Nets would be very expensive, over the areas they'd have to cover (unless it's a truly tiny yard) and even then, they could be overcome by an upgraded drone dropping heavy packages (or tiny ones). And on top of all that, it's cheap. Even if you lose a drone every other time, the drone is just the packaging for the much more expensive drugs you're dropping.
I don't see this having a happy ending--probably they'll just cancel outdoor time for everyone--but that's modern prisons for you.
I very much enjoy the idea of a prison guard running around with an elaborate and very long butterfly net to catch flying drug robots.
I can image anti-drone drones or lasers.
I can already hear the Benny Hill theme music.
By the time the snitch drone engages the contraband drone, the contra drone would have likely already quietly dropped its payload. Also, you probably don't want to inspire the contra drone builders to weaponize those things for a host of obvious reasons.
The problem with shooting lasers into the sky at these things is you could hit planes above with friendly fire and blind the pilots.
The only real solution is RC jamming, I guess.
Jamming wouldn't really work either. The control software for consumer grade drones is pretty advanced. It would not be much of a leap to run autonomous from a pretty extreme height (they are already breaking federal law, who cares about height restrictions). With a properly finned drop capsule I bet it could be extremely accurate.
Could you imagine the conjugal visits these things could deliver if they strapped on a fleshlight?
Are these recreational drugs we're talking about, or is this just a case of someone getting some much-needed burn ointment from a sponsor?
Didn't they just used to use bait catapults for this?
See this is what happens when Bitcoin crashes and Amazon buys out Silk Road. It's all Colorado's fault!
Or they could reform the "correctional" system to, you know, actually foster personal growth and reform the convicted into productive members of society so that sneaking drugs in would seem less necessary.
They could also just stop jailing people for drug "offences."
It wouldn't be terribly difficult to load them with onboard logic. A Raspberry Pi weighs 45 grams.
One day drones will be assassins with poison dart guns or the like. Scary days ahead.
I'd just fly one around in a random pattern, while someone at the other side catapiults it over, old-school stylee while everyone's distracted by Teh DRONEZ!!!!
I hate to break this to you, but…
Doping up the prisoners would make for a more docile population.
Howay, man. Dart guns would be a massive improvement...
Once, years ago, when I used to hitch-hike onna regs, I got a lift from a screw, and he said that the entire staff were well-aware of the drug situation and either condoned or facilitated it for that very reason.
Yes, this predates drones (and it's not just drugs, it's also cell phones which prisoners often use to keep in contact with criminal networks on the outside).
A lot of prisons have put nets over their exercise yards to stop contraband being dropped or catapulted in.
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