Bird strikes are a significant threat to flight safety and have caused a number of air accidents. To avoid this, a variety of dispersal methods are used by airport ground staff all around the world. Birds are very clever, however, and can quickly adapt to these solutions by simply flying around or through them.
Now, a company in the Netherlands, Clear Flight Solutions, has come up with a brilliant solution in the form of a robotic bird of prey that is highly effective at scaring away birds from airports.
Called Robird, this winged bot comes in the shape of a falcon to scare birds and keep the skies above airports safe for aviation.
According to the company’s operations manager, Robert Jonker, “We can actually drive birds in the direction we want; much like a sheep dog can be used to control sheep. It works incredibly well.”
Robird is designed to mimic its real-life counterparts. To stay in the air, it flaps its wings just like a normal bird. Robird is made by a 3D printer, using an extremely strong glass fiber and nylon composite material.
Wessel Straatman, one of the engineers behind Robird says, “The theory is simple. 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.”