The greatest nightmare of living in the countryside and nurturing your orchard? Starlings eating ripe cherries in just a few days. However, this is only one of the losses that birds are causing in agriculture, so scientists are considering the use of autonomous drones to protect crops from birds.
Drones will be used to protect crops from birds
In the pursuit of such an innovative method of protecting crops from birds, scientists from Washington State University installed cameras on small plots of land, accompanied by custom drones. The images from the cameras were analyzed on an ongoing basis by the machine vision algorithm, which had been trained to recognize bird wing movements. As soon as the camera detected this movement, it sent a drone towards it, which reached its destination and hovered for the appropriate time.
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In one study, such use of drones resulted in a fourfold reduction in the number of birds in a given area (via Computers and Electronics in Agriculture). Another study reported a 50% reduction in fruit damage with such a system, and researchers say more research is needed to see if the birds will get used to drones over time. Then the “dressing” of the birds would begin:
We could make the drones look like predators or have reflective propellers that are really shiny. Taken together, these solutions would likely keep birds out of the vineyards and fields. To be sure, we need to do research for many years
Scientist Manoj Karkee said.