Researchers use drones to fight pigeon droppings

Deepak Gupta February 2, 2022
Updated 2022/02/02 at 2:36 AM

We know drones as devices that can be very useful when creating multimedia content, helping with rescues, monitoring and even delivering packages. But a team of researchers has discovered that drones can be useful against a slightly more unusual threat: pigeons and their droppings.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) research project in Switzerland basically connects cameras to a computer and makes a schedule to automatically dispatch a drone with the aim of dispersing pigeons that have placed themselves in bomb positions on the university roof. . The ship is alerted by artificial intelligence, using a roof-mounted camera to provide visual evidence of the creatures beginning to gather.

While this might not seem like a priority, there are logical reasons for this move: large flocks of pigeons were causing the roof of EPFL’s SwissTech Convention Center to need frequent cleaning. Recurring cleaning efforts were laborious and expensive, and the large amount of dirt could spread disease and impair the stability of the roof. With that in mind, engineers and computer experts thought of a way to automate the “fight against pigeons”.

During an initial three-week observation period, the system got used to the comings and goings of the pigeons and was eventually able to calculate how many birds had gathered in the structure – and even estimate their GPS coordinates. In the second phase, after a period of five days, the researchers found that the drone sent automatically by the system 55 times not only drastically reduced the amount of time the pigeons were on the roof, but even reduced the frequency with which they returned to the spot for land.

Until then, the only “problem” of this project is actually a bureaucratic part that any pilot faces. The safety regulation for the use of drones requires human monitoring to authorize the computer’s orders for the craft to take off – even if it is to scare off pigeons. The authors of the research hope that, in the future, this obstacle can be avoided, allowing the complete automation of the system.


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Via: DroneDJ

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