Tuesday 24 March 2015

Drones to be used as anti rhino poaching tools in Africa

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology designed by Spanish engineers may be used to fight rhino poachers in national parks in Africa and elsewhere.

Four researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) in Barcelona worked with Hemav, a company that promotes UAV and drone solutions, to design the drone. The drone is fitted with thermal vision and communications that can report suspicious activities in real time. It can also be used to find animals and build up a map of their movements.

The drone is made of styrofaom and has a battery powered electric motor which can keep it aloft for about an hour. It has a pre programmable auto pilot and onboard GPS so that it can be sent on a defined mission. It is much cheaper thn conventional helicopters and aeroplanes, and so could be viable even in smaller parks that do not make a lot of money from tourism.

Hemav is negotiating with parks in Ethiopia, Rwanda and South Africa. There is also interest from places in Brazil and Asia.

Sounds like a good idea to me - cost effective and a very powerful tool in the poaching war

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