Robotic Falcon Designed to Help Reduce Bird Strikes Near Airports

Posted on May 31, 2018

A company named Clear Flight Solutions developed a robot that resembles and flies like a falcon. The Robird uses flapping wing flight for propulsion and has a flight speed that is similar to real birds of prey.

The bird is being tested at airports to reduce bird strikes. Bird strikes can be a real danger. Most incidents do not harm the aircraft but if a plane encounters a large flock and enough birds get sucked into an engine it can lead to a lost engine. This can result in an emergency landing or a plane crash. The falcon-like robot is used to frighten away flocking birds that might accidentally fly into a plane engine. Clear Flight Solutions (CFS) has developed two models of the Robird. One resembles a peregrine falcon and the other resembles an eagle.

CFS says bird numbers fall quickly in a ecosystem when a new predator is introduced. The company says, "When a predator is introduced in an ecosystem, the system will adapt to the new circumstances. Birds will learn to avoid the active hunting grounds of a bird of prey, with bird numbers dropping by as much as 50% or more, depending on the location and surroundings."

A Reuters report says CFS is a spin-off company from the University of Twente in Sweden. Edmonton International Airport was one of the first airports to test the robotic birds. Take a look:

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