Drones that can bark like a dog could soon replace sheepdogs according to a media report. “Robots aren’t just stealing human jobs, they’re after man’s best friend too – now there’s a drone that can bark like a sheepdog,” an article in RadioNZ said.
An unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot onboard. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system; which include a UAV, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two.
Drones have been used for various agricultural uses and farmers have embraced UAVs to help them do jobs that are otherwise difficult to do or to see places that are hard to reach. Many farmers have reported that drones have made it easier to deal with agricultural activities on cold days. Checking on livestock and feed levels by using camera drones is a lot easier than walking down to have a look.
One of the latest drone models, the $3500 DJI Mavic Enterprise, can record sounds and play them over a speaker – allowing a dog’s bark, or other noises, to be loudly projected across a paddock, the article said.
In New Zealand, farmers are using drones to herd and monitor livestock, assuming a job that sheep dogs have done for a really long time.
Radio New Zealand reported that the drones have not replaced the dogs entirely, but have appropriated one of the animal’s most potent tools: barking.
This means that farmers can use the drone to play the sound of a dog’s bark when required and monitor the scene from the comfort of their warm home. This feature could help save time and money and is already a hit with farmers who have said the animals have adapted to it well.
While it is unlikely that dogs will ever lose their place on a farm, these innovations can help make work easier in many ways.
However, not all farmers are eager to get on board with some calling the technology ‘lazy’ and saying that machines could never replace humans or animals in any way.