Co-design in Bird Scaring Drone Systems: Potentials and Challenges in Agriculture

In Namibia, agricultural production depends on small-scale farms. One of the main threats to these farms is the birds’ attack. There are various traditional methods that have been used to control these pest birds such as making use of chemicals, fires, traps, hiring people to scare the birds, as well as using different aspects of agricultural modifications. The main problem of using such methods is that they are expensive, many are harmful to the environment or demand extra-human resources. In this paper, we investigate the potential and challenges of using a swarm of drones as an Intelligent surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) system in a bird scaring system targeting a specific type of bird called Quelea quelea, i.e., weaver bird, and on Pearl millet crop. The idea is to have a co-design methodology of the swarm control system, involving technology developers and end-users. To scare away the birds from the field, a disruption signal predator-like sound will be produced by the drone. This sound is extremely threatening and terrifying for most bird species. The empirical results show that using the aforementioned technology has a great potential to increases food security and sustainability in Africa.

Dayoub M., Birech R.J., Haghbayan MH., Angombe S., Sutinen E. (2021) Co-design in Bird Scaring Drone Systems: Potentials and Challenges in Agriculture. In: Hassanien A.E., Slowik A., Snášel V., El-Deeb H., Tolba F.M. (eds) Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Systems and Informatics 2020. AISI 2020. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 1261. Springer, Cham.