Researchers from the Vancouver Aquarium in Canada and the USA's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are using aerial drones -- custom-built marine hexacopters to be specific -- to keep track of the health of endangered killer whales.
The drones track the whales from a distance of 30 meters, far enough to ensure that it doesn't disturb the whales or intrude on their behavior but just close enough to be able to collect detailed photographs -- over 30,000 photographs have already been collected over the course of 60 drone flights.
The project is still in its infancy but is already a success -- the drones have spotted killer whale pregnancies that wouldn't have been detected otherwise, and has helped identify unhealthy whales.
Aerial Drones Are Being Used to Track Killer Whales
1. Aerial Drones for Animal Monitoring - Opportunity for businesses to develop specialized drones for monitoring and tracking the health of endangered animals.
2. Remote Wildlife Data Collection - Disruptive innovation opportunity to create remote data collection systems using drones for wildlife conservation and research.
3. Photographic Analysis and AI - Opportunity for AI-powered systems to analyze large amounts of photographic data collected by drones for valuable insights and research.
1. Drone Manufacturing - Drone manufacturers can capitalize on the growing demand for specialized drones designed for wildlife monitoring and conservation.
2. Wildlife Conservation - Wildlife conservation organizations can adopt and implement drone technology to enhance monitoring and data collection efforts.
3. Artificial Intelligence - AI companies can develop advanced algorithms and systems to analyze and interpret photographic data collected by drones for wildlife research purposes.