Robot disguised as coyote or fox to scare wildlife off runway at Alaska airport

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A headless robot the size of a Labrador retriever will be disguised as a coyote or fox to keep away migratory birds and other wildlife at Alaska’s second-largest airport, a state agency said.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has named the new robot Aurora and said it will be based at Fairbanks Airport to “enhance and enhance security and operations.” Anchorage Daily News informed of.

The Department of Transportation issued a Video The robot is climbing rocks, climbing stairs and doing something like dancing while flashing green lights.

Those dance skills will be used during migratory bird season this fall when Aurora simulates predator-like activities to deter birds and other wildlife from settling near the airfield.

Ryan Marlow, program manager for the Department of Transportation, said the plan is to have Aurora patrol an outdoor area near the runway every hour in an effort to prevent harmful encounters between planes and wildlife.

He said the robot could be disguised as a coyote or fox by changing interchangeable panels.

“Its sole purpose is to act as a deterrent and allow us to implement that response to wildlife without having to use other means,” Marlow told legislators last week.

The panels would not be hyper-realistic, and Marlow said the agency decided not to use animal fur to ensure that Aurora would remain waterproof.

The idea of ​​using robots came after officials rejected a plan to use flying drones spraying repellents, including grape juice.

Other previous preventative efforts included officials in the 1990s releasing pigs into a lake near the Anchorage Airport with the hope that they would eat waterfowl eggs near aircraft landing areas.

Fairbanks will also see a testing period…

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