As gunfire rang out near the king’s palace in Riyadh Saturday night, global spectators briefly assumed that the incident could only mean a coup was underway. The official explanation from the Saudi government perplexed as much as it assuaged: the gunfire was not in response to any military attack. It was, instead, an attempt to stop a toy drone. The king’s palace in Riyadh is not a prison. Yet it might be more protected against drones if it were one.
Such was the connection suggested by drone detection company Dedrone, whose clients include the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Suffolk County Correctional Facility, and the Royal Family of Qatar. Dedrone boasts of a system that can detect, track, and if hooked up to jammers made by a partner company, disable any incoming drone, should it be deemed a threat. If the toy drone in Riyadh is the context of the counter-drone moment, then Dedrone’s announcement today fits squarely into the present. Dedrone is partnering with Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) to test the technology at selected protected sites.