A smart scarecrow to protect crops
Australian researchers have developed an intelligent scarecrow that recognizes the species nearby and chooses the best way of frightening them. Based on the data from motion detectors and thermal and photographic cameras, the system detects, identifies animals and adapts the deterrents from a collection of light and sound signals accordingly. And if it doesn't succeed the first time, the system learns, adapts and chooses another signal. Having been successfully tested in Gabon, it is now being rolled out in Australia.
Scarecrows are essential to protect crops but quickly become less effective because animals get used to them. This is particularly problematic when it comes to elephants, considering the damage which they can cause. Besides, elephants are intelligent enough to learn that scarecrows indicate the presence of food. This new system stops them getting used to warnings because it constantly adapts. According to the researchers, the sensors could also prove useful for biodiversity monitoring, because they can detect and log any animals passing in a given zone.
Spotted in 2018