What's got a seagull to do with spying? They aren’t only found in almost every marine, often they're not afraid of people. They can get intrusive if they are after food. The Dutch “Drone Bird Company” has now taken this advantage and developed a drone that is confusingly similar to a gull.
The Robo-gull “Larus” is getting confused as a real bird. It has a wing span up to 2.5 meters, a flight speed of 43 km/h and a running time of 1.5 hours. "Our goal was to provide our AVES Series 1 „Larus“ gull to multiple local Dutch security organizations, and thereafter to anti-poaching activities at African national parks“, says Sarah Philbrick from the company. The bird-shaped drone is used by the defense industry, border guards and security services for surveillance. The drone uses cameras, night vision devices and infrared sensors to measure its surroundings. It sends live images to a computer and It’s controlled via GPS, which makes it fly independently. Alternatively, the gull can track people or objects.
Even though the Dutch company denies that the seagull could possibly be an easy target for hackers, it is questionable. "[…] thus, this product is not intended for recreational use to the general public. Instead, the drone should provide security without disturbing either animal or human life." This model is going to be replaced by a steppe eagle. It will combat poachers in African national parks as well. // Dilara Bayrak and Franziska Franken
Teaser Picture: The drone as a seagull on land and the air. Source: The Drone Bird Company. Editing: Franziska Franken