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Realistic Robotic Raptors Take To The Skies

Robird
From extremely loud noises to despicable poisoning, people are always thinking of methods to keep pesky birds away from places like airports and dumps.

But a company called Clear Flight Solutions may have found one of the most harmless and efficient methods of scaring away birds: robirds.

Robirds, a portmanteau of “robot” and “bird,” is exactly what it sounds like. Using advanced 3D printing technology, Clear Flight Solutions has created robotic birds that look and fly almost exactly like birds of prey in an effort to frighten unwanted birds.

Why would this be an ingenious and amazing invention? It would save billions of dollars preventing bird strikes at airports and stopping birds from eating crops.

Here’s a better description of the bird written in Audubon Magazine:

These artfully painted creations are made of a 3D-printed nylon and glass fiber composite that encases a small battery-powered motor to propel the foam wings. Steered remotely by someone on the ground, robirds soar overhead like elegant toy planes, circling, dipping, and swerving, even in strong winds.

To be clear, this isn’t your granddad’s robot either. These robirds are surprisingly lifelike and could probably fool most people.

Check out this video of the bird in action as proof.

In the video, you can see one of the robirds, which looks and flaps its wings like a Peregrine Falcon. (They also have a robotic Bald Eagle.)

The company is currently working with airports to see how effective these robirds would be at scaring real birds from runways. Instead of testing at airports, the robirds are being flown at dumps, where many birds gather and consume toxins/spread diseases.

So far the results have been encouraging.

Beyond the practical uses of the robirds to protect birds and humans from danger, I could also see the robird becoming a cool toy for people who are into flying model planes and the like.

 

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.