Scientists Use Stuffed Dead Birds In The Next Possible Evolution Of Spy Drones

bird flying over forest drone


Scientists at New Mexico Tech are working on a project that involves turning stuffed dead birds into flapping-wing drones that can be used to spy on people and animals.

In a paper published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech Forum, Mostafa Hassanalian and his colleagues are looking into “the use of taxidermy birds on flapping wing drones so that wildlife monitoring will be more seamless and natural.”

“It is discovered that although it is difficult to create such a drone, it is very practical for research purposes and can keep nature undisturbed,” the scientists explain. “Improvements on the flapping wing drone would be to make the overall drone look more natural. Spur gears can be changed to helical gears so there is reduced noise and an increase in longevity. Bendable wrists would help in making the wings more flexible in flight. Adding different flight options to the drone could yield an easier user experience and aid in a more natural flight. A final improvement would be to add legs so that the drone can perch and monitor without using much battery.”

Of course, these stuffed dead bird drones could also eventually be used in spying and other military applications.

New Scientist also points out there are some ethical concerns.

Using taxidermy birds as drones also raises some ethical questions – or at least human squeamishness over using dead birds in this way. The researchers have been working with a local taxidermist and purchasing taxidermy bird parts online, but Hassanalian acknowledged the need to look into research policies for dealing with dead birds before getting more ambitious.

Such bird drones could eventually help study how some living birds may conserve energy by flying in a “V” formation, says Hassanalian. The drones could also enable the study of how feather colour patterns change heat absorption and airflow patterns to save energy in flight.

The bird drones’ flapping wings would also be much quieter than a typical quadcopter drone with propellers, as long as the motors inside the drone body are sound-proofed. That could prove useful for both sneakily studying birds and for acting as “spy drones for military use”, according to the research paper.

“Sometimes you don’t want people to find out that this is a drone,” says Hassanalian.

And just like that, the Birds Aren’t Real movement gains new credibility in their “fight for freedom.”

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Before settling down at BroBible, Douglas Charles, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), owned and operated a wide assortment of websites. He is also one of the few White Sox fans out there and thinks Michael Jordan is, hands down, the GOAT.