The World’s First Bird Strike Defense Robot
One of the major problems around military air bases and civilian airports all over the world are … birds, though it may sound funny, but they can cause serious damage when they run into the aircraft or get sucked into engines. That’s why the Korean Atomic Energy Group in collaboration with LIG Nex1 (an aerospace and defense subsidiary of LG Corp) have designed the world’s first bird strike defense robot. It is a semi-autonomous six-wheeled unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), that can operate round the clock in any weather conditions. The robot is crammed with a combination of directional acoustic transmission and detection, green laser transmission, day and night color cameras, thermal imaging, and laser scanners. The UGV uses a combination of directional acoustics and laser patterns to scare birds away: the sounds emitted by the UGV can be described as a series of loud pops (100 dB) and up to 13 other sounds (including those based on predators that birds avoid). In case the station becomes inoperable, it won’t cause any accidents due to its ability to escape obstructions and return autonomously to definite locations. The first field trials were held at a South Korean military air base at the end of 2011 and the system is currently being rolled out in multiple airfields to prove its potentialities to foreign buyers.