Finding dog poo in public places and picking it up before it can besmirch a sole probably isn't high on the list of things humanity needs to get better at, but that hasn't stopped Dutch folk throwing two drones at the problem.
Dog enthusiast website Tinki.nl and an outfit called Space53 cooked up the idea of a “Watchdog 1” autonomous aerial vehicle that packs thermal imaging kit capable of spotting a fresh – ahem – deposit's infrared glow and then recording its location.
That data's then sent to “Patroldog 1”, a rolling drone that scoops up poo so it won't end up on your shoe and, in the worst-case scenario, inside your body where a pooch's parasites, viruses and other nasties could have unpleasant consequences.
The two outfits were motivated by calculations that Dutch dogs alone poo about 1.3 billion times a year, creating about 126 million kilograms of the stuff.
Why the Dutch, or the world, needs this technology isn't explained. Indeed, in your correspondent's Australian home, we employ a different technology: plastic bag dispensers are now common as muck in parks designated as off-leash areas for dogs. They're also commonly carried by dog owners. A backup technology – terse remarks directed at the non-compliant – helps thing along.
But enough of that cynical practicality and insistence on personal responsibility. Instead, let us bask in the knowledge that humanity possesses the wit and resources to make pooper-scooper drones possible.
There's a video of the scooper here. ®