Watch: Alaska uses robot dog to keep wildlife away from runways


Officials are testing the robot at Fairbanks International Airport

Alaska is testing a dog-like robot at Fairbanks International Airport to scare away wildlife. Officials hope to use the robot, named Aurora, in the fall to discourage migratory birds and other animals from settling near airplanes.

Alaska received the $70,000 Boston Dynamics robot through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The robot features removable panels that could allow it to be dressed up as a coyote (Canis latrans) or fox, as it makes hourly patrols to drive away waterfowl and other animals.

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

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

Read more from the Anchorage Daily News.

Watch a video from Aurora below.

Cover photo: Alaska plans to use a robot dog to keep wildlife away from planes at Fairbanks International Airport. Photo credit: Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities via Instagram