This Robotic Falcon Is the Future of Pest Control

R.F. Storms

A wildlife strike is when an animal (typically a bird) hits an airplane as it’s taking off, flying, or landing. (Think Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s “Miracle on the Hudson”) About 16,000 wildlife strikes occur each year in the U.S.—posing an abnormally large risk to pilots and passengers. While most prevention methods involve delaying takeoff or landing until bird activity dies down, it can cause disruptions to already strained flight schedules and systems.

That’s why researchers at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands have created a robotic falcon that they say can scare flocks of birds away for hours. In a study published October 26 in the Journal of Royal Society Interface, the team engineered the drone dubbed RobotFalcon to look and fly like a peregrine falcon—a vicious predator to other birds.

The device performed better than a conventional drone, distress calls, and pyrotechnic deterrence (which is essentially shooting fireworks at the birds). After the field testing concluded, the researchers found that the RobotFalcon also resulted in less habituation—meaning that the wildlife it was scaring away never got desensitized to it.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Source: This Robotic Falcon Is the Future of Pest Control

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