Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism technologies (MET) trialled the scheme back in November 2013, which had drones flying day and night relaying live footage of herds of black rhinos back to rangers.
While the technologies used to track aren’t super state of the art, with the tracking done through tracking the smart radio tags attached to the rhinos, which allows the 2 metre wingspan’d drones to track the herds location. This simplistic approach is advantageous in that it uses already implemented technologies (the smart radio tags), making it a cheap and effective approach.
The project has received funding from Google, who’ve been showing a keen interest in robotics as a whole which has the MET telling press that they’re ready to deploy the drones. Hopefully this will be able to reduce the number of elephants and rhinos killed, with an estimated 22,000 elephants killed annually and 1000 rhinos killed last year in South Africa alone.
Via: New Scientist