These Zombie Drones Are Made From The Bodies Of Dead Birds
Researchers have developed zombie drones made from the bodies of dead birds.
A team at New Mexico Tech has found a way to use body parts to create realistic avian imposters.
They believe that the drones would aid wildlife monitoring by blending into a natural environment.
Assistant professor of mechanical engineering Dr. Mostafa Hassanalian says the team does not kill birds for the devices and they haven’t been developed for espionage.
He explains: “I should mention that the main and only use for this project is wildlife monitoring, not spying. Drones are being used for wildlife monitoring; however, they create lots of noise which could scare the animals.
“No real birds were physically harmed in the making of the drones, and we do not intend to do this at all.”
“We have only used the feathers and taxidermy birds that are available in the market and have worked with local taxidermy artists.”
“Our main goal for this is to develop a nature-friendly drone concept for wildlife monitoring.
“Traditional drones are often disruptive to ecosystems due to issues such as sound and unfamiliarity, so developing quieter, natural-looking alternatives could help wildlife monitoring and research.”
A study paper looks into the use of taxidermy birds on flapping wing drones so that wildlife monitoring will be more seamless and natural.
It explains that by using 3D flapping and aerodynamic simulators, limits of aerodynamic flapping characteristics could be set for the drone for a specific set of wings.
This allowed the implementation of flapping mechanisms and testing of the aerodynamics of the flapping wing drone.
The paper explains: “It is discovered that although it is difficult to create such a drone, it is very practical for research purposes and can keep nature undisturbed.”
The team suggests that improvements on the flapping wing drone would be to make the overall drone look more natural.
They write: “Spur gears can be changed to helical gears so there is reduced noise and an increase in longevity. Bendable wrists would help in making the wings more flexible in flight. Adding different flight options to the drone could yield an easier user experience and aid in a more natural flight.”
A final improvement would be to add legs so that the drone can perch and monitor without using much battery, they say.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker.