Google-funded UAVs, or drones, are being deployed in Africa to monitor regions where poaching has run rampant to curb the killing of endangered animals.
The juggernaut has given a $5 million grant to the World Wildlife Fund to purchase a fleet of drones for use in Africa. The idea is that the WWF will track people who illegally hunt endangered animals in the wild.
Calling then “conservation drones,” they are light enough to be launched by hand (i.e., throw the sucker and it just keeps on flying), and can fly at about 18 miles an hour, at about 650 feet high, for an hour or so. Cameras on the drones will allow rangers to track poachers in hard-to-traverse terrain.
The WWF already has some of these things out in Nepal, but the money will allow them to expand out their program throughout Asia and Africa. Rhinos and elephants are the two animals they’re focusing on. I imagine their relative size makes it easier to follow the migration patterns and notice when they’re disrupted.
Also, the money will go into tagging technology, allowing to better track the animals and keep an eye on their well-being without being all up in their grill all the time.
Oh, and these ridiculously high-tech drones? You can control them on an iPad. Apparently there are hobbyist drones that let you do that…?
I’m gonna go get a drone. Track the migration patterns of hipsters in Los Feliz.
Question: Are we living in the future or what?