Tag Archives: animals

BeetleCam project goes aerial with the BeetleCopter multirotor

In 2009 Burrard Lucas, an British wildlife photographer started the Beetle Cam project, aimed at getting close up photos and videos of african wildlife. How? A look at the equipment will get you the picture:

Burrard Lucas Beetlecam - Source
Burrard Lucas Beetlecam – Source
Burrard Lucas Beetlecam, camo setup - Source
Burrard Lucas Beetlecam, camo setup – Source

Continue reading BeetleCam project goes aerial with the BeetleCopter multirotor

Multirotors for protecting endangered wildlife – Airware’s drones guard african rhinos

Using drones for surveillance is a somewhat controversial activity that entails several aspects, including legal ones, that have to be weighted and balanced for the best interest of all the parties involved.

In urban environments the use of drones could be an important tool for law enforcement, although such use requires some careful planning. This kind of use has to take into account, and balance with citizen’s right to privacy.

In other instances, multirotors were used by activists to monitor what they deem as illegal or disgraceful activities, for example on the treatment of animals on private land. Check out this story or this one, for example. Interestingly, both these stories deal with the protection of animals from mistreatment.

On the same line, but in an entirely different environment, a project have started, as a collaboration between Airware, a company that specializes in the construction of UAVs for a variety of applications, and Ol Pejeta Conservacy, a non-profit wildlife conservancy in Kenya supporting endangered species, tourism and community outreach.

Airwave's web site, click to visit
Airwave’s web site, click image to visit

Continue reading Multirotors for protecting endangered wildlife – Airware’s drones guard african rhinos

Pennsylvania Pigeon hunters shoot at multirotor that was filming them

As documented in the video below, a multirotor piloted by pro-animal activists that was filming the activities of some pigeon hunters in Pennsylvania, was shot while in action.

The author of the movie states that shooting the multirotor was an illegal act and constitutes “criminal damage to property”. The police called to the shooting spot by the activists decided to not take any particular action. Continue reading Pennsylvania Pigeon hunters shoot at multirotor that was filming them

Birds successfully attack and take down DJI Phantom quadcopter – Animals and multirotors, the saga continues

After the reports on swarm of bees attacking a quadcopter and the controversial relationships between dogs and quadcopters/multirotors, we now have a clear case of a group of birds partnering to attack and take down a DJI Phantom quadcopter.

This is documented in the video below, by youtube user Buddhanz1, that indeed ends with the crash of the Phantom after a strong hit by a bird from above:

This video contributes to increase our knowledge about the possible animal species – quadcopter/multirotors interactions and relationships. These interactions should be probably taken into consideration on planning drone delivery services such as Amazon Prime Air or the recently announced DHL quadcopter delivery services for urgent goods and medicines. Should researchers who are developing these aerial delivery services consider adding some devices to deter various animal species, including at least dogs and birds, from attacking or approaching the flying machine, in order to provide a secure and undisturbed delivery of the ordered goods? This might well be an important evolutionary step that the present generation of multirotors will have to face in order to be safe from animal attacks.

As a very basic first step, what about some camouflage like the following (just a joke here)?  Might make birds more friendly (hey, it’s one of us..) or more aggressive (hey, a big bird we are not familiar with..). Testing and research required 🙂

Quadcopter bird - Source
Quadcopter bird – Source: snapshot from this video from Shadowstudiosllc

Here’s another interesting example of bird attack on a quadcopter. In this case it looks like the bird had excellent motivations, as the quad was really flying very close and over the bird’s nest. The attack of the bird in this case is just an example of excellent parental care and protection of the brood.

The pilot and maker of the video above recognizes that he was disturbing the birds and states he won’t do this again, which looks like a great idea. Still interesting to see how birds likely perceive multirotors as other, possibly dangerous, big birds, and feel in competition for the control of their aerial space.

Swarm of bees attacks quadcopter – Animals and multirotors, a complex relationship

We have been discussing in a recent post the “controversial” relationship between dogs and quadcopters.

I came across a special video that documents the interaction of quadcopters with another species, the honeybee:

Honey Bee - Source
Honey Bee – Source

In the following video a big swarm of bees repeatedly attacks a quadcopter during a flight. What triggered the reaction? Possibly the quadcopter casually encountered the swarm and the blades caused some casualties that were not appreciated by the bees. The bees attack the quad twice. After a moment in which they seem to be gone, back they are with full force.

As user MsMzphit commented on youtube, this is un-bee-lievable!

With the exponential diffusion of quadcopters and other personal drones, we’ll probably witness more quadcopter-animal interactions in the future. We’ll keep an eye on those as they are also part of the game.

More quadcopter First Person View videos from Arendatorovnet – FPV in Thailand

The Arendatorovnet youtube channel is quite active recently and three new videos were posted today. These videos are unique in that the quadcopter (and his pilot of course) are apparently experiencing a total freedom of movement in the Island of Ko Samui in Thailand. This is of great inspiration for me, and possibly many other FPV enthusiasts, in relation of what First Person View (FPV) is about.

Those last videos were apparently recorded on the down/ground side of the video link and are likely close to what the pilot was actually seeing in his video goggles during navigation. The pilot shows complete control even in a few moments in which the video link looses strength.

In this first video, there is a moment in which the quadcopter stops to “play” with dogs. We have recently noted the interesting relationship between quadcopters and dogs, and this is a nice example. The dogs seem rather scared of the multirotor and do not dare approaching too much, although they indeed show interest. This starts at 14:35 of the following video, FPV Taras 3:

Low quality, video interferences and the “electronic background” audio on these last videos provides a special flavour to them, contributing to making the whole thing very special. Here are the other 2 videos.

FPV Taras 4. See how the quad greets people with a little oscillation, for example at 6:25

FPV Taras 5


Quadcopters, dog’s best friends? Dogs and multirotors, a strong relationship

I found out, on flying at local parks, that dogs are extremely interested in quadcopters. They spot them from far away, follow them, bark at them. On landing they approach to see what all this fuss is about. Then they will stop at a certain distance, realizing that this is not exactly what they expected to see. They don’t know how to deal with it. At the end of the following video I picked the quad up and put it down again near the PC bag where I carry it. The dogs came very near this time and had a good look at it. They were curious and interested. Maybe they were considering getting one too.

On looking up on youtube, I realized that dog’s interest is a common observation for multirotor pilots. Here’s another well documented interaction:

and more:

and beware, this is a full blown dog attack on a multirotor:

Had any experience on quadcopters and dogs? Thanks for sharing below!

Animal liberation front uses 17000$ drone to spy (lawfully) on farms

The animal liberation front in Australia uses a big octocopter to gather information and evidence on the treatment of animals in farms, to be passed to authorities. The operation of drones on private land appears to be fully lawful.

Here the story and the video:


Update 7/1/2014

Looks like the Animal Liberation Front  has many “supporters”. Here’s what the youtube page shows now.

“The account was terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement”

The present YouTube page for the Animal's Liberation Front  video posted above at the time.
The present YouTube page for the Animal’s Liberation Front video posted above at the time.