We’ve had drones to delivery Slushies and burritos, drones with flamethrowers, insect drones, bird drones, and vampire drones. And just when you thought you had heard it all on the applications for drones, Tinki.nl, a Dutch dog website, and its partner Space53, an international test center for drones, have developed two Dogdrones to fight an age old problem for dog lovers everywhere: dog poo. “The two Dogdrones – Watchdog 1 (WD1) and Patroldog 1 (PD1) combine drone technology in the air and on the ground,” says a press release. Watchdog and Patroldog:
Watchdog and Patroldog work together to first detect, and then collect, dog poo from the streets. “Watchdog is an aerial drone that uses GPS technology to guide Patroldog on the ground”, explains Marc from Space53. 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 sent the GPS location to the ground drone Patroldog to collect the poo”. The entrepreneurs behind the idea, dog lovers Gerben Lievers and Marc Sandelowsky, met at an event for entrepreneurs from the Twente region. Lievers and Sandelowsky did not know each other before, but got talking about the dog business and the newest developments in the area of drone technology. Lievers: “We talked about drone technology and the possibilities and solutions that are made possible through new developments in the drone world. During the conversation we got talking about a huge problem in the Netherlands. Dog Poo.” On Tinki.nl, a Dutch website to compare dog products, dog poo is a big topic and widely discussed among the community. “We have more than 13.000 followers on Facebook, mostly people who own dogs themselves. They are frustrated about owners that do not clean up the mess of their dogs, as well. In the beginning we were just joking around, but then realized that we can solve a huge problem.“ According to Lievers and Sandelowsky the first prototypes are not perfect, yet – and they are asking the public for help. “Especially Patroldog (the ground drone) does not have enough capacity to clean up large quantities of dog poo. We want to develop bigger models in the future. Furthermore, we are looking for smart ways to recycle the dog poo. After all, it is about 100 million kilos every year.” It’s going to take a huge pile of poo to test the idea – and the pair is asking the public for help. “We have the technology and training facilities. The challenge is to find people who want to help to make this idea a success”, explain Lievers en Sandelowsky. Volunteers can sign up on the site as test pilots for the dogdrones. “We want to investigate if we can use a network of volunteers to face this challenge in the whole Netherlands.”
Look for more information about Dogdrones onTinki.nl
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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