The Ocean Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting ocean and human health, is using Yuneec International’s Typhoon and Tornado drones to collect data for whale research.
“As a company, we are passionate about seeing our drones provide positive technological solutions to modern-day issues,” says Shan Phillips, CEO of Yuneec USA. “We couldn’t be more proud to collaborate with Ocean Alliance and look forward to a future where our drones can be used in positive, real-life situations that have an impact on the world we live in.”
To conduct the research, a petri dish will be attached to Yuneec multicopters flown into the cloud of spray exhaled by whales when they surface. Essentially, Yuneec says, the Typhoon and Tornado multicopters will fly into “a cloud of snot,” which is why the Ocean Alliance refers to their Yuneec drones as “snot bots.”
“Yuneec is giving us state-of-the-art drones to conduct marine mammal research that exceed our mission parameters,” says Iain Kerr, CEO of Ocean Alliance. “This is a lottery win for us as a company, the animals we study and, ultimately, humanity.”
According to Yuneec, the samples collected can tell scientists about the health and fitness of the whale. The company says its multicopters allow scientists to retrieve this data without the whale taking notice, as the drones will hover several yards above the surface of the water while human operators are close to a mile away. In contrast, Yuneec says, most current methods of physical sample collection involve pursuit in a motorized boat and firing a biopsy dart from a crossbow.
“Snot bots are designed to remove the potential harm caused to whales during the research process. After an extensive search, we determined the Yuneec product line of quiet and sophisticated drones gives us the best possibility of success,” says Kerr.
Photo courtesy of the Ocean Alliance