A group of engineers are crowdfunding a Raspberry Pi based DroneShield kit that detects the presence of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
Privacy watchdogs like the UCLA (United Civil Liberties Association) are drawing attention to the increasing use of drones for domestic surveillance. They’re calling for regulations to protect privacy in anticipation of the inevitable rise of domestic drones.
A group of privacy concerned engineers and developers aren’t waiting to see whether politicians will step up. They’re working on a technical solution instead: a drone shield.
DroneShield is a small $69 device that sends an alert by e-mail or SMS when it detects a UAV. It consists of a microphone, a signal processor and a database of acoustic signatures of common drones. When the mic picks up an audio signature matching the database a warning message is sent.
The system is currently in the prototype phase but the team headed by engineer john Franklin has started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
The goal of the project is to port the code from the laptop it’s currently running on to a Raspberry Pi to make the DroneShield a stand-alone device. The campaign also serves as a feeler to see if there is any interest in this kind of device. If so, the team will continue to develop the DroneShield and bring down the cost to $20 by using specialized hardware.
The device is open source. Once the Indiegogo project closes software and hardware specifications will be made available on droneshield.org. If the project takes off the plan is to create a collaborative development environment and a crowdsourced platform for people to upload drone signatures to the database.
The project surpassed its modest $3,500 funding goal only two days after launch but of course you can still boost the project by preordering the Droneshield kit or the assembled version at Indiegogo.