Irish Farmers’ New Sheepdog Is A Flying Robot

Border collies may be cuter, but they can't fly nearly as well as the herding drone being used by farmers in Ireland.

We cover drones here quite a bit, because small, airborne robots with myriad sensor technology hold immense promise for farming. Drones may not be ideal, quite yet, for delivering Amazon packages to your door, but for monitoring large swaths of land with minimal resources, they could be invaluable. But most of the drones we cover are used to check resources like water and fertilizer, and to monitor growth rates of crops. This one is a little bit different.

Two farming brothers in Ireland, Paul and Declan Brennan, bought a Yuneec Q500 drone, a small four-rotor remote-controlled copter equipped with a high-def camera. But they’re not using it just to fly over their (very pretty!) farm: they’re using it to herd their small flock of sheep. Check out the video!

Surprisingly enough, the sheep seem to pay attention to the drone and allow themselves to be herded. And the drone’s position gives a great view from above to make sure no sheep go astray. Even better, this can all be done remotely. Of course, these drones aren’t cheap—the Q500 clocks in at $1,299, and its battery only lasts for 25 minutes of flight time. But those features will change for the better soon enough.

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Via CNET, image via YouTube

Irish Farmers’ New Sheepdog Is A Flying Robot