We’ve all been there. It’s a nice sunny day. You’re walking down the street with a spring in your step and your favourite song playing in your ear. As you pass your neighbour, you tip your cap and think: ‘Today is a good day!’ And then it happens. You take your next step and suddenly feel that all too familiar squelch underfoot and you know exactly what’s happened – exactly what you’ve stepped in.
A Modern Solution
The days when dog owners were expected to conscientiously dispose of such mess manually are over. Plastic bags and poop scoops are so 2000s… The good news is that Space53, a drone test centre, and Dutch dog website, Tinki.nl, have teamed up to fight the problem.
The two drones they’ve developed, Patroldog 1 and Watchdog 1, work together to locate and remove the muck. Watchdog is an aerial drone which identifies the ‘dog deposit’ using thermal imaging coupled with high res cameras. It then guides a ground-based drone (Patroldog) to the offending substance using GPS, which it then disposes of.
The idea came about when dog enthusiasts Marc Sandelowsky and Gerben Lievers met at an entrepreneur event in Twente. They immediately hit it off and began talking about an obvious topic of conversation – dog poo. It was then they realised this was a real problem that they could both tackle.
A Sticky Situation
The Dogdrones are currently only in the prototype stage but Sandelowsky and Lievers are already thinking big about what the future could hold. In the Netherlands alone 100 million kgs of dog poo is produced every year so the market for these drones is potentially huge. In future models they’re considering expanding the capacity of the Patroldog so it doesn’t have to be emptied as often.
If you’re based in the Netherlands and fancy rolling up your sleeves the Dogdrone team are looking for volunteers to test the drones. If you’re not based in the Netherlands and don’t fancy getting your hands dirty, why not rent a drone from us at Fat Lama.
The Dogdrone team aren’t the only ones looking to clean up our streets, parks and beaches. Plastic Tide are developing technology which allows pictures of beaches taken by drones to be scanned and analysed in order to focus litter-picking efforts in the areas which need it most.
Cleaning up dog poo is clearly such a hot topic that it was turned into a spoof app called Pooper. The app claimed to allow you to tag the location of the waste matter and pay a fee to get a ‘Scooper’ to collect it for you. Ben Becker, one of the spoof website’s creators, has said that Pooper has received “hundreds of requests” from people wanting to sign up.