Feeds

Liverpool uncages pigeon-busting 'robofalcons'

Flying rats face expulsion from city centre

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.