Here’s an interesting partnership that you may never have seen coming. A dog and a drone are combining forces to herd livestock in a ranch at Wairau Valley, New Zealand. Yes, gone are the days when shepherds did all the chasing and herding. Gone too are the days of supervising sheep dogs while they run around the fields. Now, with the help of modern technology, farmers everywhere can now access to devices that can make fieldwork a little easier.
Herding Livestock via Drones:
Jason Rentoul is a farmer and owns the property in the Wairau Valley. He had seen a drone tested for an event showcasing the devices as farming implements. Wanting to try it out, he acquired one and has been using it for herding ever since. The efficiency of the drone compared to the old ways proved too inarguable, so he never went back. He herds the field using the drone multiple times weekly.
Considering the time comparison, the drone helped out the process by cutting total time over half. The old way, where a team of two workers and two dogs assembles the sheep, take about two hours. With the drone alone, it only takes about 45 minutes of herding in total. Apparently the drone itself is enough of a presence that the herd of animals still follow its orders.
Another perk of using drones compared to the old manual labor is of course, the human aspect. People can get tired, especially after factoring in different weather conditions and times of day. With a drone, it works consistently, effectively, and you will never fear workplace injuries.
The camera on the drone is also a huge plus. It gives you a great vantage point, overlooking the entire property in a swift motion. This means you can see more, inspect farther, while sitting in your chair. For farmers who deal with livestock, this is an amazing feature to have.
Now I know what you may be thinking. Poor dog, the drone stole his job! Well no need to worry about man’s best friend. The dog, as it turns out, works hand in hand with the drone. When the drone cannot command the livestock to move in a direction, the dog takes over. Barking, herding, and running the fields while teaming up with his robot buddy.
Now it can’t get any better than that, huh?