Scientists Are Turning Dead Birds Into Drones That Could Spy On Humans

    Scientists Are Turning Dead Birds Into Drones That Could Spy On Humans

    Two flight tests using drones that looked like birds have been conducted

    A few years back, a satirical conspiracy theory created by Peter McIndoe that says ‘Birds aren’t real’ gained prominence, garnering millions of followers. The viral theory posits that birds are actually drones operated by the United States government to spy on American citizens. 

    It now seems that the joke might soon turn into a reality as scientists have found a way to turn taxidermied dead birds into drones that can be used for spying purposes, New Scientist reported.  

    The researchers who designed the birdlike drones said that they could one day be used to get a “seamless and natural” look at wildlife or be used by the military to spy on people unnoticed, according to their paper presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech Forum. 

    In the study, scientists combined taxidermy bird parts and artificial flapping drone mechanisms to recreate some of the general appearance and motions of birds more closely. According to an engineer working on the project, these drones are basically remote-controlled mini-aircrafts that can be used to monitor humans and animals from a distance. 

    They also conducted two flight tests using drones that looked like birds, including one that looked like a real pheasant. New Scientist also shared a video of the trial run on their YouTube account.

     “Instead of using artificial materials for building drones, we can use the dead birds and re-engineer them as a drone,” said Dr. Mostafa Hassanalian, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at New Mexico Tech. 

    “Sometimes looking at nature provides us the best answer for the development and optimization of different types of engineering systems,” he added. 

    However, the main focus of the research is to find out how the flappy drones can help experts study wildlife, and be used to track deforestation and poachers. 

    As of now, the dead bird drones are only a prototype. “A final improvement would be to add legs so that the drone can perch and monitor without using much battery,” scientists added in the study. 

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