Drones for hunting?

NZ Herald

the Herald had an article about some conservationists using drones for their research.

Hunters will have them soon, with species recognition software. Be bloody handy for hunting quail in Central Otago. Or hunting that elusive 12 pointer.

The researchers hope to use the technology to monitor species such as Maui’s dolphin and sea bird populations, as well as mapping vegetation restoration and the landscape.

“Essentially, it has all the same controls as a full-sized aircraft,” said Professor Brooks.

“But because it’s flying without a pilot on board, you have to programme the on-board autopilot. Then we monitor it from the ground. The autopilot will fly for up to two hours by itself.”

Each flight is treated like a manned one – it has to go through all the standard checks and the Civil Aviation Authority must give permission for it to fly in the airspace.

“And what makes it even more different from a toy aircraft is the camera,” said Dr Bollard-Breen. “It’s a very, very special camera that takes both video and stills and is set up to monitor vegetation exactly the way we want it to.”

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