Meet “Chirocopter”: A drone that flies  within swarms of bats

Meet “Chirocopter”: A drone that flies within swarms of bats


Wildlife biologists have designed a drone that can hover within swarms of bats as they zip across the nighttime sky. The drone is equipped with a microphone to record echolocation chirps and a thermal camera that can “see” bats’ body heat. The microphone is insulated with foam that allows it to pick up high-pitched chirps over the noise of the drone and prevents it from reflecting back the chirps. Similar technology has been used to record bats from the ground and from towers, but the chiro-copter has the advantage that it can be placed anywhere in 3D space. In testing, the team maneuvered the drone to hover in the middle of a bat swarm In one 84-min recording, they recorded at heights ranging from 5 m to 50 m. There were so many bats that they recorded 46 chirps/minute. By monitoring swarms from the air, the researchers hope that they’ll be able to figure out how the fast-flying mammals avoid colliding. (No bats collided with the drone during the testing.)

12 thoughts on “Meet “Chirocopter”: A drone that flies within swarms of bats”

  1. Couple questions
    Is it safe for bats
    How do the bats not fly away from because of birds of prey
    And does the noise affect them

  2. Thank you for giving credit to the artist of the music, in the video and in the description. It really helps to find good music when there are billions of sets of ears and hands, helping you do so.
    This tune,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQayQvN79Z0
    is auralgasmic.

  3. Typical quadcopter… "Whatever…"
    Has a microphone on it… "Whatever…"
    Has FLIR… "O… M… G… I need this."

  4. About the music. Were it background music instead of foreground music the video would have been easier to watch and enjoy.

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