Eagles Being Trained to Destroy Drones

March 20, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. low-tech / ˈloʊˈtɛk / (adj.) – referring to simple technology
Example: Dogs are low-tech but effective means of protecting your home.

2. collaboration / kəˌlæb əˈreɪ ʃən / (n.) – a product of two or more groups working together
Example: The book is a collaboration of many authors.

3. remote / rɪˈmoʊt / (adj.) – far away, especially from people
Example: They went camping at a remote location.

4. plus / plʌs / (n.) – an advantage
Example: Walking to work is a plus because it saves you money and keeps you healthy.

5. promising / ˈprɒm ə sɪŋ / (adj.) – likely to end well
Example: We are expecting very promising results for this initiative.


Read the text below.
Illegal drones have found a new enemy – bald eagles.

To combat illegal drones, the Dutch Police has turned to a low-tech solution – trained bald eagles that seek out and take down the drones. The use of bald eagles against drones is a collaboration between the Dutch Police and Guard from Above, a Denmark-based company specializing in training birds of prey. Although the bald eagles have been trained to identify and intercept drones, they have also demonstrated this behavior in the wild. In 2015, an untrained eagle took down a quadcopter, or a mini helicopter with four rotors, in Austria.

In addition, it was observed that the bald eagles also instinctively take drones they attack to remote areas, which is a plus if drones turn out to be a greater security threat than expected.

Drones are the newest security threat because they are inexpensive, simple-to-use, and can be used as explosives. They have become widespread recently, even appearing in places where their presence is suspicious.  In 2015, there have been reports of drones appearing over airports, several city landmarks in France such as the Eiffel Tower, and even the White House in the United States.

Though the use of trained eagles against drones appears promising, there are still safety concerns being considered. One is the safety of the birds, because the blades of a drone can hurt them. To address this concern, the birds will be fitted with armor during missions. The decision to completely use the birds against drones or not will be made in a few months.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are other animals used for security purposes?
·         What are the advantages of animals over technology in terms of ensuring people’s safety?

Discussion B

·         What are some crimes that can only be done with advanced machines?
·         What ordinary gadgets or devices do you think can be used to harm other people?

March 20, 2016