Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Remote-Controlled Planes Used For Wildlife Conservation

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the conservation-on-a-budget dept.

Earth 48

Damien1972 writes "Conservationists have converted a remote-controlled plane into a potent tool for conservation. The drone — an HK Bixler equipped with cameras, sensors and GPS — has been used to map deforestation, count orangutans and elephants, and get a bird's eye view of hard-to-access forest areas. During their 4 days of testing in Sumatra, the drone flew 30 missions without a single crash. A mission, which typically lasts about 25 minutes, can cover 50 hectares. The drone, full equipped, costs less than $2,000."

cancel ×

48 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Pigeons (4, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142857)

Let's just hope there aren't any pigeon [popsci.com] hunters nearby.

Re:Pigeons (-1, Offtopic)

WaterDamage (719017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142953)

I Soviet RUSSIA, pigeons hunt you!

Re:Pigeons (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143067)

Hmm, pigeon hunters--say, weren't they also responsible for shooting-down RFC 1149 [ietf.org] ?

Re:Pigeons (2)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 2 years ago | (#39144739)

Just a bit of packetloss, that's all.

Re:Pigeons (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143113)

I know that this is the wrong discussion for mentioning this, but the activists in that case were a bunch of misguided weenies desperately seeking validation. We can expect to see more and more misguided tattle-tales wasting their time when they could be tackling real issues like police brutality.

I say this because, as somebody who likes to cull the populations of vermin species with the aid of airguns and small-caliber rifles, pigeons are like flies. So are wild rabbits. And common squirrels and chipmunks will also likely not become extinct anytime soon. Those hunters would have saved an awful lot of cars from being shit on. Hell, my friends and I would sit with BB guns in the bushes in a small backyard, pretending to be hunters, dropping the pigeons(and the occasional crow) from the power line above. we filled our neighbors' backyards full of bird corpses.

Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine had a good piece to say about it. Since I can't find it, I'll paraphrase it for you all:

" When you go into the desert with a rifle, you have respect for the cacti. [wikipedia.org] They stand tall and proud, some of them have been there for over 100 years. They're like the wise old men of the desert, you respect 'em. But jackrabbits, man, the motherfuckers are like flies. You can shoot 'em all day long. "

Re:Pigeons (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143187)

And deer, too--they are like large rodents in some areas (e.g., Ohio). "In 2005, 27,000 Ohio drivers saw, up close, what a deer in the headlights really looks like. Those car-deer collisions carried a cost of $71 million."

A Cornell University study said that nationally, deer do more than $2 billion in damage every year.

Interestingly, the Japanese sympathize with deer and can't understand why we hunt them--while we can't understand why they hunt whales.

Re:Pigeons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145207)

You forgot to say WHY they're pests.
Because their natural predators are gone, or in too few numbers to count.

If they had any brains at all, instead of going after the hunters, they would have made an effort to reintroduce the predatory species that removed those pests. Of course, that takes, effort and commitment, things those peope obviously don't have.

Re:Pigeons (0)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145533)

Oooh, then we'd have to introduce extra cats, wolves and bears to have a complete food chain....

Going out in the back garden would be a real adventure ....

Re:Pigeons (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145257)

"pigeons are like flies"

I hear the same used to be said about passenger pidgeons in the 19th century with their 3bn+ bird flocks.

Didn't turn out so well though.

Re:Pigeons (1)

dollar99 (922389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39147569)

Not only off topic, but referencing the wrong article. [slashdot.org]

Re:Pigeons (3, Insightful)

identity0 (77976) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143625)

For those who missed it, a few days ago we had a Huge discussion [slashdot.org] on that topic, about the rights and wrongs of UAVs, surveilance, etc.

Now I wonder how long it will be before some asshat uses UAVs for completely illegal or unethical things like stalking, attacking people, drug smuggling, etc. and gets the government cracking down on the whole concept like Megaupload and torrent sites.

I know Sea Shepherd are using UAVs for their anti-whale hunts now, and some people consider them terrorists. How long before some political group decides to use UAVs to intimidate opponents, or some Muslim kids playing with UAVs gets labeled as "terrorists scouting out targets"?

Re:Pigeons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143925)

This is much funner to read translated to pirate talk.
Just sa'in....

PLZ MORE DRONES IN OUR LIVES (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142971)

oh yay, if this drone its for good mother earth, the we must implement a full scale of drones everywhere, it's good for you, just ask to the people from Pak1stan. Nice whitewashing report.

ArduPilot (4, Informative)

Change (101897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142995)

They're using the DIYDrones [diydrones.com] ArduPilot [diydrones.com] , the image in the article shows the ArduPilot Mission Planner [google.com] software. For a few hundred dollars you can turn an RC aircraft into an autonomous craft, it's a very nifty project.

Re:ArduPilot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143041)

Except ArduPlane/ArduPilot offer no schematics or other design information. Sure, you get the software but obviously they are just trying to turn a profit by selling hardware. Meh...

Re:ArduPilot (1)

The Raven (30575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143075)

A Lego RCX kit is quite accurately called 'DIY' even if Lego does not provide open-source schematics of how to create your own RCX. Soldering your own breadboard isn't the only thing that qualifies something as DIY.

Re:ArduPilot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143475)

Who said anything about DIY?

Reading comprehension, how does it work?

Re:ArduPilot (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39144135)

Who said anything about DIY?

Change did, just three posts up from yours:

They're using the DIYDrones [diydrones.com] ArduPilot [diydrones.com], the image in the article shows the ArduPilot Mission Planner [google.com] software. For a few hundred dollars you can turn an RC aircraft into an autonomous craft, it's a very nifty project.

Re:ArduPilot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143851)

"they are just trying to turn a profit by selling hardware."

WTF is wrong with that? Every time I spend $100 with DIYDrones, they save me $1000 in R&D costs. They develop products I would never have time to tackle myself. They open source the board layouts, schematics, and source code, and they have a message board where they allow competitors to advertise(including Chinese knockoffs of their own products).

Communists could not provide more customer service value!

Contrast this with the Raspberry Pi non-profit which is going nowhere fast. By the time the philanthropists have a product delivered, the Chinese will have produced an entire suite of lower cost "system on a chip" based products. http://rhombus-tech.net/allwinner_a10/

Re:ArduPilot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145369)

Thanks for posting this, I had no idea this existed :)

- Anonymous Coward

Re:ArduPilot (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146557)

They're using the DIYDrones [diydrones.com] ArduPilot [diydrones.com] , the image in the article shows the ArduPilot Mission Planner [google.com] software. For a few hundred dollars you can turn an RC aircraft into an autonomous craft, it's a very nifty project.

I'll have to get some of that! I've got an RC plane I don't use much because I don't like paying for repairs when I inevitably crash it.

Fukushima needs this too (1)

WaterDamage (719017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142997)

This kind of setup would be perfect for the Fukushima nuclear disaster. If the radiation isn't going to interfere with the electronics then this could be used to fly over the reactors that are unapproachable or even view-able by humans due to the extremely high concentrations of radioactivity.

Re:Fukushima needs this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143201)

it was done... but not by DIY people.

http://photos.oregonlive.com/photo-essay/2011/03/fukushima_dai-ichi_aerials.html

Re:Fukushima needs this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143249)

Electronics are much more susceptible to radiation than people, and I did fly the Global Hawk over it, but at a safe distance.

Re:Fukushima needs this too (4, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39144281)

As it so happens, the radiation was ridiculously problematic for electronics. The insertion of the first robots into the facility was delayed by months because they required special shielding. It was so bad that cables had to be used for communication, not the robots' native wireless transceivers. A flying drone would be totally useless, especially in the tight corridors of the plant and because it'd be too heavy to fly with the shielding. Sorry.

Re:Fukushima needs this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39144487)

Sorry, I don't buy it. I've been looking my entire life for impossible engineering challenges and I can tell just from experience that this isn't one of them.

Re:Fukushima needs this too (4, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39144525)

Feel free to debate the facts [slashdot.org] . If you can figure out how to slap 13 mm thick lead shielding onto an aerial drone small enough to manoeuvre in a tight hallway and get a wireless transmitter powerful enough to work under up to 700 mSv [ieee.org] , I'm sure you'll be rewarded for your efforts lavishly in both government and private-sector contracts.

More drones (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142999)

Yay another drone story. I mean there was the drones getting approved by the FAA, then the drone that got shot down, then this drone, and drones everywhere. You'd think it was almost as if someone was pushing some sort of agenda. And drones for the environment. See? Aren't drones good? Now go back to your room and behave, because we're watching...

Re:More drones (4, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143039)

Steady-on, Dunbal; no need to drone-on about it!

Re:More drones (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143395)

Match point to you, sir. Well done :)

Re:More drones (1)

JeanCroix (99825) | more than 2 years ago | (#39148697)

I think you mean well drone.

Re:More drones (4, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143453)

I guess it's popular to link anything and everything to a conspiracy theory, and that's a commentary on our culture. Like anything, drones are a tool. There's nothing to indicate that these environmentallists using drones to survey wildlife has anything to do with da gubbmint watching you, simply that the confluence of cheap, high quality GPS units, computing, and electronics is now making possible applications that were simply infeasible in times past. This type of progress is due to the advancement of technology, not the advancement of a gubbmint agenda.

Perhaps you missed the part that not only is this drone unmanned, it's unpiloted. Unlike R/C planes which have a limited, set range, this model has waypoints that it uses GPS location to navigate to, extending the range well beyond that possible with normal radio control.

To me, it's a bit silly to call a model airplane with some electronics taped onto it a "drone" but ever since the military's UAV "drone" project, it's become a buzzword.

Re:More drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143653)

Skynet...

Re:More drones (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143659)

Jesus, you slashdotters are fucking stupid. News: technology has multiple uses.

It was an iDrone (0)

hawk (1151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39144025)

This was an iDrone; notice how it didn't crash.

No need to worry: Windows DRN will be out soon . . . :)

hawk

Re:More drones (1)

bobbutts (927504) | more than 2 years ago | (#39148383)

Suddenly this technology exists where there was nothing before, so of course when there's an uptick of use and associated news it's time to break out the tin-foil hat. Obviously these guys were part of a large government/media/. scheme to brainwash you into jubilant acceptance of your new flying overlords.

shoot down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143235)

all drones

whats this about bagpipes? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143373)

Isn't a drone part of a bagpipe (along with a chanter?)
why are Scotsmen flying above tropical rain forests? And why are they playing bagpipes?

And the FAA has nothing to do with bagpipe regulation, at least in the US. Perhaps in Scotland or Brazil the laws are different.

Man, this will make right-wing heads explode. (0)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143657)

Drones are good. They allow us to kill little brown people from a distance. Bonus points if the little brown people are Muslims. I love drones.

But now drones are being used by liberal hippie enviro-commie scum! They're bad people! And only bad people do bad things! That must mean drones are bad!

Aaargh! My head hurts! I'd say "cognitive dissonance" except Rush doesn't like me using big words! What should I do? WHAT SHOULD I --

[pop]

Re:Man, this will make right-wing heads explode. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143847)

You should kill yourself back to stormfag

Re:Man, this will make right-wing heads explode. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143955)

What should I do? WHAT SHOULD I --

Keep your day job (assuming you have one) because you'll never make a living as a comic--or as a talk radio host.

Re:Man, this will make right-wing heads explode. (0)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39144235)

Drones are good. They allow us to kill little brown people from a distance. Bonus points if the little brown people are Muslims. I love drones.

But now drones are being used by liberal hippie enviro-commie scum! They're bad people! And only bad people do bad things! That must mean drones are bad!

Aaargh! My head hurts! I'd say "cognitive dissonance" except Rush doesn't like me using big words! What should I do? WHAT SHOULD I --

[pop]

Are you an idiot or just very good at looking like one? I'm going to ignore the racist remarks because they are obviously just a troll. But, "enviro-commie scum"? Oh, and lets just throw the phrase "cognitive dissonance" in there just because it sounds cool, but from your remarks it is apparent there is no dissonance at all in your mind. I will explain your lack of dissonance, because you're slow. You say a) drones are good because they kill little brown people. Therefore it can be inferred that you think little brown people are bad. Therefore drones killing bad people is a good thing. You then say, well imply (and state!), that "liberal hippie enviro-commies'" are bad. So far, so good. Then you say "only bad people do bad things!' Let's assume for a moment that "hippie enviro-scum" are bad (although you haven't said why). Let us further assume that only bad people do bad things, because you said so. You then say that drones must be bad because they are bad people! I hate to break it to you, but drones are not people. I think your "cognitive dissonance" is caused by ignorance and anthropomorphism rather than anything else; i.e. your brain is broken. But only bad people have broken brains, so I am not sure what you should do. Maybe just killing yourself is the simplest solution as then the dissonance is gone and perhaps your cognition will improve.

Not That Impressive but Yay More Drones (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39143753)

It's nice to see this finally surpassing the NAVCOM (Propeller-based opensource drone platform for those who don't know, has had similar capabilities since 2006) in smoothness. Is it as accurate? Good to see people using stuff like this.

Can they use them FOR hunting? (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143981)

*ducks* (get it? ;)

the drone flew 30 missions without a single crash (2)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 2 years ago | (#39144769)

...aided in no small part by the fortunate fact that Stingers are still rare even among privacy-conscious orangutans. ;-)

Who Reads The Article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39147371)

Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

If it can count orangutans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39151189)

... it can scan for bikini's on the beach. Public beaches = public airspace = realtimebeachcamstube.com FTW

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>