New from OpenWorks Engineering: SkyWall100 Drone Capturing Net Gun

Justin Stakes writes [via]

OpenWorks Engineering, a group of British engineers, has invented a system that offers security operators a ground-breaking alternative way to defeat nefarious drones; to be displayed at the UK Home Office’s ‘Security and Policing Event’ on 8th March . . .

Drone use (quadcopters, UAVs) is on the increase – and is regularly compromising security and privacy laws and the safety or security of both the public and high profile VIPs/celebrities. There is a broad range of current concepts to defeat drones, including jamming their command signals, burning them out of the sky with high-power lasers and attempting to train eagles to catch them.

The SkyWall concept is simple; physically capture a drone in a net and bring it to the ground safely under a parachute.

SkyWall100 Side Shot

Physically capturing a drone is the best way to ensure control of a situation is maintained. Once captured it can be impounded, forensically investigated or simply handed back with some words of education where appropriate. Perhaps more importantly, the potential legal implications of damaging the pilot’s property (drone) are mitigated.


The OpenWorks Engineering team will officially launch their SkyWall100 drone defence system at the Home Office S&P Event; a cost effective system that could be deployed by government authorities and private security firms.

SkyWall100 Launch

Skywall 100 comprises of a man portable compressed air launcher and an intelligent projectile with on-board countermeasures. The launcher uses a computerised SmartScope to calculate the drone’s flight path and directs the operator on where to aim the launcher, to ensure the drone is intercepted.

SkyWall100 Net Capture
SkyWall100 Net Capture

When the operator pulls the trigger the projectile is programmed so that it deploys its on-board net and parachute at precisely the right time to catch the target drone.

SkyWall100 Front Shot
SkyWall100 Front Shot

OpenWorks Engineering will develop a range of air powered launchers and intelligent projectiles to provide for the wide range of scenarios conceivable, these include permanent systems for the defence of critical national infrastructure.

Chris Down, Managing Director of OpenWorks:

“OpenWorks Engineering believes that security enforcement authorities need a cost-effective and proportionate way of protecting the public and high profile individuals and we wanted to put a system on the market that offered just that.”

“Authorities around the world have been looking for a system like this and we are proud to continue the tradition of British innovation in the security industry.”

SkyWall100 Caputred Net

OpenWorks Engineering is already engaged with a number of government and private organisations across the world and is expecting to see the first SkyWall100 systems in use before the end of 2016.

SkyWall100 SmartScope

About OpenWorks Engineering:

OpenWorks Engineering is a high quality product development company that thrives on solving problems by combining modern technologies alongside fundamental engineering principles. For more information, visit:


  1. avatar jwtaylor says:

    THIS is what happens when .22LR gets scarce.

  2. avatar Accur81 says:

    Looks like that’d cost a whole lot more than a 12 gauge pump shotgun.

  3. avatar James69 says:

    a tiny net.

    1. avatar Bob R says:

      And looks like it has a very limited range, like less than 150 feet.

      1. avatar Stuki Moi says:

        Only because brits are limited to air launchers.

        Nets are a good way to capture drones, stuff them full of explosives, and send them on their way back home.

  4. avatar Moe Sizlak says:

    Master Betty will be pleased

  5. avatar Question Authority says:

    Named SkyWall because Skynet was already taken. I guess they can’t use Terminator either.

    1. avatar WedelJ says:

      “Introducing, new from SkyNet Engineering, the Terminator! Got pesky kids flying drones around your airspace? Make sure they never do it again!”

      Yeah, probably better they used different names.

  6. avatar James in AZ says:

    Quads are for idiots who cant fly a heli.
    And these idiots have no respect for the good community relationship we serious rc hobbists built up.

    1. avatar Greg says:

      It’s amazing that every facet of life has someone that sees themselves as an elitist.

      The world is full of idiots, If we stop innovating because elitists look down on us or things are misused by idiots, we would still be in the dark ages.

      So excuse us while life passes you by.

      1. avatar James in AZ says:

        When a ferrari f360 guy looks down on a 2015 honda civic guy there is no indication that the ferrari guy thinks that all cars have to be ferraris, or that all cars developed after f360’s era shouldntve existed

        1. avatar Felix says:

          Ugh. Civics are for people who can’t drive Ferrari F360s.

        2. avatar James in AZ says:

          Well, when pushed to the extreme a 360 is absolutely safer than a civic, yknow, for those brake-too-late-or-throttle-too-early-and-about-to-run-through-the-guard-rail situation.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Serious as in Helis with no gyros?

      (The good ‘ole days: Helis came in 2 flavors, .40 and .60, and training landing gear was a hula-hoop like thing. And the setup cost about 4 grand.)

      1. avatar James in AZ says:

        Pull the gyro off of a TRex 700 DFC is great fun. Hand fit everything and test hover in the bedroom. Then take it to an open field, like, a really open one. Have fun

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Wasn’t that a TRex that decapitated that guy while showing off his 3D ‘skills’?

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          EDIT – Yup. a TREX 700..

          Horror as remote-control helicopter stunt pilot, 19, partially-decapitates himself with his aircraft after he lost control

          “One clip shows him putting his Trex 700 helicopter through incredible tricks. The video culminates with him dropping the $1,500 model from the sky, only to restart the rotor when it is just inches from his head.”

          There’s video there of him flying it close to his head…

    3. avatar 16V says:

      Right or wrong, everyone flying r/c is now looked at through the lens of being a drone pilot. At the risk of being elitist, this is what happens when things move downmarket. R/C requires money, skill, and time, which generally made for good judgement, manners, restraint. That all goes right out the window when it’s $99 at Wallyworld. They’re gonna buzz Fred’s pig roast, and check out them girls sunbathin’. Don’t worry about them thar helicopters, I’m gonna get my flood pictures…

      Sorry. Genie’s long out.

      1. avatar James in AZ says:

        I can still fly a 150 in the neighborhood without a problem. Kids love to see it and wanna try it. Anything above that i’ll truck it far far away from human population

    4. avatar Accur81 says:

      A quad Fudd on TTAG! And yet if I want another quad I’ll just get one regardless. They have impressive aerial filming capabilities and they’re just fun.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Yeah, there’s a video of the Knob Creek machine gun shoot where there’s a number of R/C aircraft trying to dodge full-auto fire:

        Machine Gun and RC Airplanes – NIGHT SHOOT

    5. avatar Anonymous says:

      Prove it.

    6. avatar steel says:

      RC hobbists are idiots who cant fly a real heli
      And these idiots have no respect for the good community relationship we real pilots built up.
      Bunch of losers infesting our airspace.

      1. avatar alexander says:

        Are you two gentlemen done writing your names in the snow?

  7. avatar gs650g says:

    Of course subjects can have one so only the authorities can control the skies.

  8. avatar Jon says:

    Yes, the tiny net is a death sentence.

  9. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    A Batman utility net for drones… AWESOME!

    We truly are living in the future! 🙂

  10. avatar Arod529 says:

    If they are violating your privacy with their drone, I don’t see any reason to be concerned with damaging the drone. Without a doubt rubber bullets are a whole lot more cost effective than a giant ass net launcher, and don’t pose any serious safety risks.

    It’s all branched off the politically correct bs. If the majority of society would stop being a bunch if wimps, all to afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, we wouldn’t have this issue. IF these launchers are even available to the public, they are going to be way to pricy. Plus, while the gov and private security get away Scot free either way, us “regular” folk would undoubtedly get prosecuted for some nonsense or another.

    1. avatar Jomas Tefferson says:

      This is a niche product, but if someone is flying a drone over a crowd, say, a football stadium, or a political rally, this seems much safer than any conventional method of bringing it down.

  11. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Available soon: Surgical-sharp stainless quad blades…

  12. avatar Tim says:

    Can’t be more cost-effective than birdshot.

  13. avatar Bob Watson says:

    Dan Bilzerian took a break from playing poker and made a video in which he and some of his scantily clad friends blasted numerous drones from the sky. The finale was a fleet of drones simultaneously converging on his position from multiple directions and multiple altitudes. I would not bet on a Wiley Coyote “flying net” approach to drone defense.

  14. avatar alexander says:

    And what happens if or when the drone moves, as opposed to being stationary and waiting for their perfect targeting system and slow moving payload to reach it?

  15. avatar CTstooge says:

    Good grief. A high tech t-shirt launcher.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Yup. And gigantic to boot!

  16. avatar Royal Tony says:

    Geez a few lengths of chain in a spud gun would be a lot cheaper. Even if the chain was PVC plastic. I suppose you couldn’t fleece the taxpayers much off of that.

  17. avatar Ian in Transit says:

    1) Low cost netting for around your garden cut to size
    2) Some split shot fishing sinkers around the edge
    3) Foam wadding cut about 1.5″ diameter
    4) 1 can Aquanet Extra Hold
    5) 1 spud gun

    Seems a whole lot more cost effective and it has multiple uses.

  18. avatar John Fritz, HMFIC says:

    That 1980s-lookin’ thing appears poised to Hoover up an impressive amount of taxpayer money. With a little help from FedGov.

  19. avatar Huntmaster says:

    All ya need is a Whamo Slingshot and a handful of taconite…

  20. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Look Ma! A cast net for ducks!

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Well hell. Now I want one.

  21. avatar DJ says:

    Looks like it belongs in HALO 6 (or whatever number they are on).

  22. avatar Anonymous says:

    Looks pretty lame. By the time the net shooter gets out this case out and lugs this gigantic clunker where the quadcopter is – it will probably be long gone with mission accomplished.

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