Drones to fight dog poo

Wednesday, 29 March, 2017

Drones to fight dog poo

Tinki.nl, a Dutch dog website, and Space53, an international test centre for drones, have developed two drones to first detect and then collect dog poo from the streets.

The idea for Dogdrones originated when Tinki.nl’s Gerben Lievers and Space53’s Marc Sandelowsky met at an event for entrepreneurs and got talking about the dog business and the newest developments in the area of drone technology. Lievers recalled, “During the conversation we got talking about a huge problem in the Netherlands: dog poo.”

Lievers noted that dog poo is not only annoying but also a serious problem, with 100 million kg of the substance improperly disposed of in the Netherlands every year. Dog poo contains bacteria, viruses, parasites and worms that are especially harmful to children, as well as adults and other dogs.

The newly developed Dogdrones — Watchdog 1 (WD1) and Patroldog 1 (PD1) — combine drone technology in the air and on the ground.

“Watchdog is an aerial drone that uses GPS technology to guide Patroldog on the ground,” said Sandelowsky. The aerial drone uses modern cameras as well as thermal imaging.

“This technology is currently used to detect fawns in high-grass areas and prevent deadly encounters with harvesters. We use the same technology to detect dog poo on heat maps and send the GPS location to the ground drone Patroldog to collect the poo.”

Lievers and Sandelowsky said the first prototypes are not yet perfect, as ground drone Patroldog does not have enough capacity to clean up large quantities of dog poo. The developers are hoping to create bigger models in the future and are making an appeal to the Dutch public to help them in their quest, offering the opportunity for people to sign up as test pilots for the dog drones.

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