by Vanessa Bates Ramirez, Singularity Hub
Nothing ruins a pleasant afternoon stroll down your neighborhood sidewalk or favorite city street like stepping in dog poop. Even if you don’t step in it, having to look down to make sure you’re avoiding it is no fun. And most dog owners have had at least one day when, darn it, they ran out of plastic baggies, or they were simply too tired to clean up after their canine companion.
In an unexpected use of rapidly improving sensors and robots, Dutch entrepreneur Gerben Lievers invented a unique tool to solve all these problems at once: a poop-scooping drone.
The drone has already gone through multiple iterations, each improvement aiming to further perfect the technology so that it leaves streets as poop-free as possible.
The team’s first model, a drone called Watchdog 1, used thermal imaging to locate uncollected dog droppings by their warm temperatures compared to the surrounding area. That data was appended with GPS coordinates and sent to a ground-based robot called Patroldog 1, which rolled off to collect its target.
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