Birds are fascinating creatures, but for farmers, airport staff, and waste management specialists, they can prove to be a profound nuisance. How to deal with a flock of birds eating your crops, or causing an obstruction on the runway? One company has come up with a creative new solution: the Robird.
Robird of Prey?
How does adding another bird to the equation help? Well, birds of prey have been used in the past to chase off nuisance birds - among other things. The Robird, designed by Clear Flight Solutions, is a remotely controlled drone, carefully crafted to resemble a bird of prey. It comes in two varieties: eagle and peregrine falcon. You could call it a very different kind of predator drone.
The Robird is designed not only to look like a bird, but to move like one. These custom-designed drones flap their wings, and not only for show; this is genuinely their method of flight. The company claims that their flight performance is comparable to that of their natural counterparts. And unlike a real bird of prey, there's no danger of the Robird doing anything you don't want it to. The drone is controlled by a trained operator at all times.
How It Works
Clear Flight Solutions don't intend on selling Robirds to anyone. Rather, the company works together with individuals and organizations in farming, aviation, waste management and other industries. Each job, they claim, is different and requires a carefully guided approach. Just as a bird of prey instinctively understands where, when and how to hunt, the team operating the drone needs to understand the behavior and likely reactions of their "prey". Though the Robird is not intended to ever actually catch the birds it chases, it can still have a long-term impact on their behavior, altering their migration patterns for generations to come.
Technologies and innovations that try to work with and integrate themselves into nature are an increasing trend in all kinds of areas. What could come next? A robotic spider for catching flies? Will the animal kingdom soon be as full of as many man-made creatures as real ones?
This article is part of the "HUBOT weeks" to contextualize our latest project HUBOT, the job agency for people and robots. Want to learn more about this project? Join NNN and we will keep you posted!