Build Your Own Wi-Fi Drone Disabler With A Raspberry Pi

Build Your Own Wi-Fi Drone Disabler With a Raspberry Pi

If you're looking for an interesting project to work on this weekend, you can turn a Raspberry Pi into a device that will drop Wi-Fi controlled drones right out of the sky with just a tap of your finger.

Photo by Bill Morrow.

It's Evil Week at Lifehacker, which means we're looking into less-than-seemly methods for getting shit done. We like to think we're shedding light on these tactics as a way to help you do the opposite, but if you are, in fact, evil, you might find this week unironically helpful. That's up to you.

The device concept, from Brent Chapman at Make, uses a Raspberry Pi, a touchscreen, and a couple of simple Bash scripts that execute some basic network commands. When you tap the touchscreen, the Raspberry Pi finds the drone's unsecured Wi-Fi access point (used by the pilot to control the drone via smartphone or tablet), telnets to the drone's default gateway address, and shuts down the system from the inside without the pilot knowing. Chapman's guide also includes steps on how to build a Wi-Fi signal booster out of a large can so you have a much longer range for your drone disabler.

Keep in mind, this will only work on some models of Wi-Fi controlled drones, and you should only experiment with this tool on your own personal drones safely. Even then, Chapman explains that you do so at your own risk. You can find the complete guide at the link below.

Build a Wi-Fi Drone Disabler with Raspberry Pi [Make]


    I think 'No Way' is right. I'm not a lawyer, but if you are deliberately sending a signal, crashing a drone, potentially damaging it or whatever it lands on, you are doing something wrong. And you won't have a defence that the drone operator was doing something wrong, unless, and this is a looong stretch, you were saving a life. Think of it this way: if someone pointed a camera at your bedroom window you could (a) ask them to stop (b) close a curtain (c) call the cops or (d) smash their camera with a cricket bat. One of those answers is not a good idea.

    The thing, is it hasn't been tested in a court case.

    The FAA is only saying what you can't do to a drone. No right to say its invasion of property, privacy or a criminal act to be operating a drone in illegal surveillance. Its illegal to steal a car, but its perfectly legal to get a tow truck operator to take away a car that's parked in my driveway without permission.

    As such it has not been tested against the right to protect ones self. The law clearly states it shouldn't be that low or close to you... which means their defense is what exactly??? While I was operating my drone illegally, it got illegally taken out of the sky, by the guy I was illegally spying on.

    Then again, no one wants to go to court or be the first in a technology case with a fuddy duddy judge.

      Good points. That explains things better from both sides. Thanks!

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