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Drone bird startup gets £1.2m investment

A drone startup has been granted an investment of €1.6 million (£1.2 million) to develop robotic birds that will scare real birds away and hence protect private property.

“Robird,” developed by Clear Flight Solutions, will have a realistic appearance based on a peregrine falcon and promises an environmentally friendly solution to your bird-related problems.

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“Birds are beautiful creatures,” explains the company website. “However, if you work in aviation, waste management or agriculture, you will be aware that birds can be a very tough problem to deal with. Birds are not only a nuisance, they can also be a serious threat to safety in aviation.”

Considering that birds are blamed for billions of dollars’ worth of damage every year, the investment could turn out to be a shrewd piece of business by US investors Cottonwood Euro Technology Fund.

Ray Quintera, lead general partner of the investment firm, believes that the “robird” solution could be expanded beyond its current purpose.

“The bird control problem is much bigger than we initially imagined,” he said. “Clear Flight Solutions has developed technology with tremendous potential that addresses a global problem. We have also identified various other applications of the technology. That makes this the ideal business case for our first European investment.”

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Clear Flight Solutions has already experienced some success with its trial run in Twente, in the Netherlands. By implementing robird at a waste management site in the area, the startup has been able to reduce bird population and help prevent the spread of waste to the surrounding area.

Traditional methods of bird control are usually only effective for a short period of time before the bird grows accustomed to the particular scare tactic. However, by mimicking one of nature’s predators, robird doesn’t simply scare birds, but changes their behaviour in the long term.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.