Airplanes are a pinnacle of human achievement, multi-million dollar machines that tell millions of years of evolution to go jump in a lake. And yet, they can be taken down by a bunch of stupid birds. Us humans can’t take that lying down, and that’s where Dusseldorf’s Robirds come in.
These robotic RC birds are going to be used at Weeze Airport to scare real birds away from planes that are taking off and landing. They come in two models: a falcon to scare away smaller birds and an eagle to scare away everything. Check out the video up top to see how the birds are controlled.
The Robirds were built by researchers at University of Twente in the Netherlands, who spun the project off into a company called Clear Flight Solutions. In a statement, Twente student and Clear Flight Solutions CEO Nico Nijenhuis explained why they chose Weeze over other airports:
“We already fly our Robirds and drones at many locations, and doing this at an airport for the first time is really significant,” he said. “[Amsterdam’s] Schiphol Airport has been interested for many years now, but Dutch law makes it difficult to test there. The situation is easier in Germany, which is why we are going to Weeze.”
Clear Flight Solutions say their Robirds mimic the flight patterns of actual birds and look convincing enough to scare away any runway-adjacent flocks. The company thinks that birds won’t grow accustomed to this scare tactic because they’ll be too busy flying away.
“Because this approach exploits the birds’ instinctive fear of birds of prey, habituation is not an issue,” Nijenhuis said.
Humans: 1; Dumb ol’ birds: o.
(Via Daily Mail)