On Wednesday, South Africa-based Desert Wolf showed off its new Skunk drone at the IFSEC security exhibition outside Johannesburg. The UAS, which is designed for crowd dispersal and riot control, comes equipped with strobe lights and loud speakers and four paintball gun barrels. While that much firepower can sound scary, the Skunk only fires non-lethal projectiles including dye marker balls, pepper spray balls or solid plastic balls.
In addition to the riot control gear, the UAS is also outfitted with two high definition cameras as well as a thermal imaging camera. There is also a camera and microphone on the pilot’s control station so the operator of the drone can be monitored while flying. Hennie Kieser, Director of Desert Wolf, told defenceWeb that the reasoning behind this addition was people tend to be less aggressive when they are monitored.
The first industry to buy into the drone is the mining industry which will begin flying Skunk later this summer. Kieser told defenceWeb it was sad that the mines are in a predicament with strike related violence and this is why the mines are the biggest market for the system.
Desert Wolf began as a manufacturer of off-road trailers but has begun building drones in recent years. In 2012 at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition the company launched the Bateleur UAV, designed for long range surveillance missions.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com