Bird-Like Drones with Dead Bird Parts Could Revolutionize Wildlife Monitoring
A viral satirical conspiracy theory claiming that “Birds aren’t real” has gained millions of followers in recent years. However, researchers have recently made a breakthrough in the development of bird-like drones created from taxidermied dead birds that can be used for spying purposes, according to a report by New Scientist.
The drones designed to resemble birds could potentially be used to monitor wildlife or spy on people without detection, according to a research paper presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech Forum. The scientists combined taxidermy bird parts with artificial flapping drone mechanisms to replicate some of the appearance and movements of birds. Essentially, the drones are mini-aircraft that can be controlled remotely and used to observe humans and animals from a distance.
During the study, researchers conducted two flight tests of the bird-like drones, including one that resembled a real pheasant, which was shared on the New Scientist YouTube channel. Dr. Mostafa Hassanalian, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at New Mexico Tech, explained that instead of using synthetic materials, dead birds could be re-engineered to create drones. He added that observing nature can help provide optimal solutions for the development of various engineering systems.
While the dead bird drones remain a prototype, the researchers aim to focus on using them to study wildlife, track deforestation and poachers, and provide assistance to experts in the field. To further improve the drones, the scientists suggest adding legs so they can perch and monitor without consuming much battery.