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Open House 2017

Sociology Major Pioneers Drone Defense System

Luke Fox’s philosophy is simple: rid the cyber world of its criminals.

“As cliché as it sounds, I want to make the world a better place – allow people to grow and develop naturally without the evil that hampers that growth,” he said.

Fox doesn’t look like your stereotypical crime-fighting hero. He wears no cape, no super suit – he’s just a guy with a black polo, a pair of pressed khakis and a quirky sense of humor. And instead of a bat cave, he works out of a whiteboard-encompassed fortress in the SLO HotHouse.

Fox is the CEO of WhiteFox Defense Technologies, Inc. – a company specializing in protecting people from threats in today’s technological world.

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Luke Fox (left) Katie White, Dir. of Business at 
White Fox (left) holding the Drone Fox

 

 

 

 

“I started four years ago in drone manufacturing,” Fox said. “The company I worked for started to make more and more powerful drones, and I saw the potential for drone misuse was ever-present and was going to continue to grow.”

For Fox, the ‘aha’ moment was when they developed a drone that could fly 100 miles fully autonomously. “I thought ‘Wow. Somebody could put a bomb on this, fly it, launch it and be hours away in another direction before it hit the White House and there would be nothing anybody could do about that.’”

WhiteFox’s latest project is DroneFox, a device that alerts law enforcement to malicious drone activity in the skies.

“It’s like pulling over a car,” Fox explains. “If a car has just committed a crime or has a bomb in it, the police are able to pursue that car.” DroneFox can detect a drone in the sky and determine if it is threatening to the area.

Fox believes choosing to study sociology at Cal Pol has had a huge influence on his crime-fighting philosophy. “Understanding the technology behind these crimes is one thing, but what really differentiates cyber criminologists is understanding the crime side, the people side. So it’s not just how people commit a crime but why.”

"We have been very fortunate to work closely with world-class talent. Only at Cal Poly can you find professors working into the early morning hours helping students achieve their vision. Really, it has become our vision. The company has become a community effort birthed out of Cal Poly.”

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