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Alaskan airport to use robot to prevent bird strikes

Alaskan airport to use robot to prevent bird strikes

An airport in Alaska is to use a state-of-the-art robot camouflaged as a coyote to prevent bird strikes.

The four-legged machine - which is about the same size as a Labrador dog - will patrol the area close to Fairbanks airport using dance-like movements and flashing green lights to scare off wildlife and prevent large groups of bird from settling in the areas close to the runways.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities confirmed the move by sharing a video of the robot - named Aurora - in action on Instagram and writing: "At DOT PF, our passion for content creation shines through with Aurora, our newest robotic dog. Designed internally by the talented Alaskan graphic design artist and long-time DOT PF employee Andrea Deppner, Aurora is adorned with a breathtaking depiction of Alaska’s northern lights.

"Swirls of vibrant colours, ranging from deep indigo to emerald green gracefully dance across Aurora’s metallic frame, perfectly capturing the beauty of the aurora borealis."

The post then confirmed Aurora's airport mission, adding: "Aurora will be based out of Fairbanks International Airport and will enhance and augment airport safety and operations at FAI and remote airports ...

"Aurora was funded with a Federal Research Grant ... She does not utilise Artificial Intelligence (AI), but she does have cutting-edge technology which helps her manoeuvre over all sorts of terrain ... We’ll be sharing more about Aurora’s journey and this exciting initiative very soon, so stay tuned!"

Aurora will be put into action this autumn and will be used to patrol the areas around the runways every hour.

Speaking during a during a joint session of the Alaska House and Senate transportation committees, Ryan Marlow, program manager with the Alaska Department of Transportation, explained: "The sole purpose of this is to act as a predator, and allow for us to invoke that response in wildlife without having to use other means."

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