Soon, this phrase may become quite common, if a company called Clear Flight Solutions gets their way. While most of us don’t face daily problems with those friendly little flying creatures that may greet you in the morning with a few chirps, if you work in agriculture, waste management or aviation, you may see them in a completely different light.
Birds can pose significant safety and monetary problems for some individuals and businesses. Millions of dollars are spent each year trying to prevent birds from destroying crops, interfering with aircraft and picking apart garbage bins / landfills. There is only so much that can be done in order to deter them, and most solutions are quite ineffective.
Clear Flight Solutions hopes to have just the answer, with a 3D printed robotic bird of prey, called Robird. As most of us know, the typical bird is scared off by birds of prey, such as falcons and eagles. The unfortunate problem is that these birds of prey aren’t exactly available for paid work. You can’t just walk up to the neighborhood falcon, slip him a $100 bill and ask him to keep watch on your farm for a week.
That’s where 3D printed motorized birds come into play. Clear Flight Solutions has created a Robird Peregrine Falcon as well as a Robird Eagle which looks, sounds, and flies almost exactly like their real counterparts. Created out of 3D printed glass fiber and nylon composite material, and then painted to appear as realistic looking as possible, these birds seem to be quite effective.
Robirds have been demonstrated to scare off other birds, and in most cases when introduced to their ecosystem, keep these birds from coming back. “There are currently no other means available in battling the nuisance of birds, that have such high success rates as the Robird,” explains Clear Flight Solutions.
“From a biological point of view, the thing that triggers a bird’s instinct about a predator is the combination of silhouette and wing movement,” explained Nico Nijenhuis, the company’s cofounder and CEO to AudubonMagazine. :The more convincing the Robirds are as predators, the more likely they are to drive flocks away—which Nijenhuis wants to accomplish in key environments where birds shouldn’t fly.”
The company plans to continue developing and testing these remote control operated Robirds throughout 2014 and into the first half of 2015, before officially launching their product and making them available to the public. Currently they are working with several large airports to test the best ways to effectively steer the Robirds, in order to prevent issues with aircraft and aircraft controllers. Runway avoidance and most importantly aircraft avoidance is of utmost importance.
So far, the company claims that the Robirds have reduced wild bird populations in some areas by as much as 75 percent, which is a huge decrease when trying to prevent crop damage, maintain organization at landfills, or prevent potentially hazardous conditions surrounding airport runways.
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