Territorial Hawk Attacks Drone Quadcopter, Highlights Potential Amazon Setback? [VIDEO]
Last Wednesday, Christopher Schmidt was flying his remote-controlled quad-blade helicopter in Cambridge, Massachusetts when an angry hawk came swooping out of the blue to take the drone out.
The incident occurred just over Magazine Beach Park, and while both the bird and drone came out unscathed, confidence in future drone delivery systems may be a little worse-for-ware.
"Your Amazon prime air package did not arrive because: hawk attack," one Redditer joked soon after the video's release.
"Look out #Amazon! Mother nature is coming for you!" another YouTube commenter wrote.
They are talking about a potential setback for Amazon's new delivery scheme, Amazon Prime Air. The company hopes to soon be using "return-to-home" drones much like Schmidt's Phantom FC40 Quadcopter to quickly and efficiently deliver small packages. In the wake of new technologies inspired by nature, drone designs are more fit than ever to navigate busy skies and labyrinthine city air-ways. Amazon says that all it needs to get Prime Air off the ground is approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
But if one particularly territorial hawk can get in the way of a delivery, that could certainly throw a wrench in Amazon plans.
However, according to Schmidt, the video is a poor example of whether an aggressive hawk would normally attack these drones, or even if they could take one out of the sky. The hawk was identified as a juvenile red tailed hawk, likely still learning when and where to pick its fights.
And the bird didn't even actually "take out" the copter.
"As soon as he flew at [the quadcopter], I throttled down the props to try to minimize any harm to the bird," the drone enthusiast explained.
You can watch the full video via Schmidt's YouTube channel below. And be sure to share it! The YouTuber says that all ad-revenue generated through views of the clip will be directly donated to the Massachusetts Audubon Society for the protection of nature.