Feeds

Liverpool uncages pigeon-busting 'robofalcons'

Flying rats face expulsion from city centre

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Liverpool council has taken drastic measures to drive pigeons from the city's centre - computer-controlled "robofalcons" whose predator-mimicking wing flapping and squawking it hopes will persuade the flying rats to make themselves scarce.

The Robop robotic falconLiverpool currently wastes the equivalent of "88 man hours a day cleaning droppings from streets and buildings at a cost of £160,000 a year", Reuters explains. Its pigeons gorge on fast food detritus while "flying at people and leaving droppings everywhere", the council said.

Accordingly, the powers that be have installed a flock of "Robops" (Robotic Birds of Prey) which "look, move and sound like a peregrine falcon".

The manufacturer's blurb explains: "While humans can easily tell it's made of fibreglass and has electronics inside, wild birds, while very intelligent, do not have this level of understanding. To them Robop represents a real and present danger."

The council's Environmental Health manager Andy Hull explained that the scheme was "an attempt to improve the health of the pigeons, as their current diet is unhealthy and dangerous". It's hoped the robofalcons will persuade the pigeons to relocate to the city's parks and green spaces.

No chance, reckons Emma Haskell, director of PiCAS UK, the "leading independent advisory body on the issue of bird control in Britain". She said her organisation's studies on mechanical deterrents found them to be "completely ineffective". She elaborated: "We believe that this is a complete waste of time...and a waste of money. Pigeons are a highly intelligent bird and they soon realise that these mechanical things are not a threat.

"The robotic hawks are almost laughable as a method of control and the cost associated with buying and installing the product...simply cannot be justified."

In case you're wondering, Robops go out at a cool £1,850 a pop, excluding VAT. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.