Watch: Alaska to use robot dog to keep wildlife off runways

Officials are testing the robot at Fairbanks International Airport

Alaska is testing a doglike robot to scare off wildlife at Fairbanks International Airport. Officials hope to deploy the robot—named Aurora—in the fall to discourage migrating birds and other animals from settling near airplanes.

Alaska obtained the $70,000 Boston Dynamics robot through a U.S. Agriculture Department grant. The robot has removeable panels that could allow it to be disguised as a coyote (Canis latrans) or fox as it makes hourly patrols to chase off waterfowl and other animals.

If the project works in Fairbanks, the state may send similar robots to more rural airports.

“The sole purpose of this is to act as a predator and allow for us to invoke that response in wildlife without having to use other means,” Alaska Department of Transportation program manager Ryan Marlow told state legislators.

Read more from the Anchorage Daily News.

Watch a video of Aurora below.

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Header Image: Alaska is planning to use a robot dog to keep wildlife away from airplanes at Fairbanks International Airport. Credit: Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities via Instagram