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This flappy bird-drone keeps airports safe


NewsHubRemember that plane that landed in the Hudson which resulted in a Tom Hanks movie? That whole saga started with a flock of Canada Geese getting shredded through the plane’s jet engines, destroying them. By “them,” I mean both the birds and the engines, but for the purpose of this story, the latter is probably most relevant.
Birds at airports can be a terrifying ordeal, so you’d be unsurprised to hear that airports pay a pretty penny to keep the area around an airport clear. Clear Flight Solutions ‘ Robird is a drone that flaps its wings and scares the bejesus out of other birds to keep aviation safe.
Traditionally, airports, fruit farms at harvest season and others have chased off birds by using a highly skilled falconer to fly a trained bird of prey in an area. Clear Flight Solutions’ Robird is the remote-controllable, doesn’t-need-feeding version of the same idea.
“The theory is simple,” Wessel Straatman, one of the engineers behind the product tells me. “Birds know that birds of prey are territorial. When we fly Robird in an area, other birds learn that it’s dangerous to be there. As a result, they’ll avoid it, solving the problem for a period of time.”
“We can actually drive birds in the direction we want, much like a sheep dog can be used to control sheep,” the company’s operations manager Robert Jonker tells me.

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