Palmer Luckey has moved on after being ousted from Facebook. His second act as a founder is California-based manufacturer, Anduril. Based in Irvine, the upstart has raised over $41 million since 2014. They’ve developed the Anvil, a quadcopter designed for short, fast flights up to 100 mph. The Anvil is equipped with sensors to identify, track, and intercept targets.
According to Luckey, the best way to respond to the threat of a drone illegally entering unauthorized airspace, especially military bases, is to physically smash into and disable it. ‘All the soft kill systems are a waste of time,’ Luckey told Bloomberg in an interview, referring to a spate of anti-drone technologies that have recently surfaced.
Equipped with electro-optical and infrared sensors, that are effective both in daylight and at nighttime, rotors on the bottom, and strategically-placed flight-critical parts, the Anvil takes out hostile drones from below. An operator can authorize an attack through a handheld remote while viewing a live feed. One main issue is the damage sustained to the Anvil as a result of a high-speed impact. Luckey believes in their durability and is not too concerned.
Anduril is already working on larger, faster versions of the Anvil that will target a small aircraft, helicopters, and even cruise missiles. It remains to be seen if crashing into rogue unmanned vehicles will be an effective solution to securing airspace. Said Luckey, via Twitter, ‘the best way to kill fast drones piloted by hostile humans is with even faster drones piloted by AI. The United States cannot allow the skies of the world to turn into the Wild West, our ability to take out aerial threats in a matter of seconds is part of the solution.’