Tank-like vehicle clears runways of birds with frikkin' laser beam

Keeping airport runways clear of birds is a major safety issue, so most runways in places with lots of avian activity have systems like sirens and recorded gunshots to try and scare the creatures away. This Korean laser-equipped robot vehicle looks far more effective, and would probably scare the crap out of most humans it encountered.

The Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) is semi-autonomous, which means that it is controlled by a human operator sitting up in the warmth and security of an indoor control station. It does have an automated collision avoidance system, so even if the operator is taking a nap or grabbing some coffee, it isn't going to slam into some priceless jet.

The UGV comes equipped with both daytime and night vision cameras to help spot the feathered jet engine pluggers, and it can scare off the birds using either a bunch of loud sound generators or its laser light show. The lasers have a range of a little over a mile to help deal with any birds that are out of acoustic range.

South Korea has rolled out the UGVs at several military and civilian airfields, and plans to demonstrate their effectiveness with an eye towards future international sales.

KBS News (Korean), via Gizmag

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