Simple Flying - Charlotte Seet

The AI makes decisions on target detection, tracking, aiming and firing, while the video camera captures real-time images of the assigned airspace.

Over in China, scientists may have unlocked another potential solution that keeps the birds at bay - an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven system and lasers.

Professor Zhao Fan led the research with her team from the Xi'an University of Technology, and it was later published in the peer-reviewed journal Laser & Optoelectronics Progress in April. The scientists built a robotic system driven by AI, consisting of four parts: a camera to detect birds; a video processing module to track the target; a laser emitter; and a moving mirror to reflect and aim the beam. Once the AI system detects a bird, it decides on target-locking and uses the camera and a video processing module to track the bird as it continues flying in real-time.

The camera is also equipped with image recognition and tracking algorithms, making sure it can do things like being able to identify birds and isolate them from surrounding objects in video images, such as buildings and aircraft. Other algorithms improve the stability of this calculation and reduce the chance of losing a target - especially important for birds flying at high speeds. It also reduced the calculation burden on the system’s AI.

These algorithms guide the high-energy laser beam that is painful but non-lethal toward the bird until it leaves the restricted air space. On-site experiments have shown that the bird-repelling system could be used accurately on birds flying within a range of at least 1,000 meters. 

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