There’s a bird now that flies vigilant over the strawberry or table grape crops and also some fish farms. A bird of prey that scares the flocks away, which feed on the farmers’ daily yield.
This bird does not follow its instincts but takes direct orders so as to protect the crops. This bird, we are talking about, is actually a drone, which has been developed by the Vigo-based-FOBOS company. this drone scares away plagues of threatening unwanted flocks of birds in a sustainable manner.
Everything starts off with the deep ornithological research about the surrounding fauna, which needs to be protected and the birds’ food habits, behavior and biorhythms are studied throughly, too.
From then on, an automated air vehicle or drone is programmed and disguised as a real bird of prey, which mimics the moves and ways of a real bird of prey within its hunting range. “It’s adaptable and analyses each and every threat to the crop or fauna and we have several models mimicking different birds of prey ”, says the CEO Fobos Solutions, Marcos Carrera. The company has filed for a few patents and already been accepted to exploit the rights to its models and devices. And this happened around June 2014 that interestingly enough there were designed by the CSIC, right at the biohub of the Doñana preserve and they have been working on it for the past two years. “The design, manufacturing and application technique, namely, of when, where and how to fly are genuinely made in Galicia as well as the drones controls and input ”, says Carrera.
The technique is easy : this robotic birds mimic short aggressive flight paths for a timeframe of 15 – 20 days to scare away flocks of preying birds which threaten crops and farms. “It’s a sustainable method and with a success rate of 90%, according to the CSIC stats and surveys on birds populations in that area ” . Carrera explains that the ideal situation is to prevent first before the real birds get to the seeds or harvest. “It’s easier to scare these plagues of birds away, so the damage and losses are zero. We stop this kind of plague of birds from coming over and over”, he points out .
These stealth drones mimicking birds of prey have generated interest way beyond the agricultural scope.FOBOS has already received plenty of inquiries from city halls, harbors, quays, and wharfs around the country to tackle the problem of annoying seagulls within these areas . However , due to Spanish laws about drones in populated areas, here this kind of drone activity is restricted at present .