Technology

The dog epidemic is here. Call in hunting drones


Can drones provide this evidence of waste resources, letting local authorities know where dog poop is thrown?

It can, says Ferdinand Wolf, Creative Director at DJI Europe. “Flight time has seen a huge improvement in drone technology,” says Wolf. From the original Phantom that probably flew seven or eight minutes, we now have drones that fly easily for more than 30 minutes, which is essential if you want to explore a dog’s faeces or droppings and don’t land constantly to recharge the batteries. ”Also, drones contain Now it routinely has multiple optical sensors to help navigate autonomously around parks or down country lanes without bumping into trees and the like.

“We can now run image recognition on the drone itself,” says Wolf. So can drones be programmed to distinguish dog feces from a rock, for example? We have databases on the drone where it can search for and compare images. It can differentiate between a person, a bike, a car, or a ship. So if you go further, it’s similar. This is a piece of paper or this is the rock or this is dog poo. If he can look up a database and say, well, that’s what dog poop usually looks like, then these are all the techniques that can be used for that. “

Speaking of litter recognition in general, Zach Jakowski, chief engineer at Boston Dynamics’ Spot Dynamics robot, explained it’s more simply: “The way machine learning works, if you can visually recognize it as something special, you can train a recognition robot. He – she. If you have an easy time picking it, a robot can spend an easy time picking it up. “

“Of course, there are a lot of different stool shapes that can look very different,” says Wolf. “The shape, sizes, and symmetry can vary a lot, if it’s on grass and it’s sunk or decomposed – but that’s definitely possible.” The really good news is that Wolf says the droppings hanging from the branches are the easiest to spot. “It would be very easy to spot and mark something like a bag hanging in a tree, because it would have a very similar shape and color.”

This is the sticking point. Drones would be ideal for reporting and tracking dog fecal deposits, but not actual cleaning. In 2017, a startup in the Netherlands claimed to have created two Scooper tube “Dogdrones“But the idea never got off the ground. The volunteers wanting to help with the test phases were probably weak on the ground. Besides, the pair’s drone was off the ground anyway.”

“Bring a bag may be Being something possible, I think, “says Wolf.” Picking up the stool itself, like a small shovel, would be difficult to implement. You need to increase the size of the drone, the facilities, and then that will make everything bigger and more complicated. “

Rescue robots

Robots are often seen as fulfilling jobs that incorporate all three elements: “dirty, dangerous, and dull.” Cleaning up dog clutter definitely ticks all of these boxes. So, for reliable ground clearance, what we really need is a robot that can go wherever dogs can do. This might be one of Spot’s best use cases so far. In fact, the robot is already equipped with its own Spot Arm Clean up garbage in the open air.

Boston Dynamics itself says there is interest in a “Spot + Spot Arm” for use in public and roadside cleaning, the process is similar in essence Fetch behavior BD engineers have already demonstrated.



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