SOCORRO, N.M. (KRQE) – Researchers at New Mexico Tech are gaining a lot of attention for a unique project that takes dead birds and gets them to fly again all for research. New Mexico Tech Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Dr. Mostafa Hassanalian is leading the project. Researchers are using dead bird carcasses and feathers, and with the help of taxidermists in Albuquerque, attaching them to a drone with flapping wings like a living bird. “we want to help nature. we don’t want to hurt nature. we are developing this technology to have a safe and nature friendly drones,” said Dr. Hassanalian.

He said there are more than 200 applications for drones like using the technology to monitor and learn about wildlife instead of using a drone or helicopter which can scare and scatter the animals. Dr. Hassanalian believes the technology could help us learn how birds are able to fly such long distances and one could be used in aviation to avoid birds running into airplanes. “We can just program them to fly around airports so other birds don’t get closer to airplanes,” said Dr. Hassanalian.

It’s unclear how the birds will react, they have yet to introduce the bio-drones into the wildlife due to different policies surrounding the issue. Right now, researchers use batteries to fly the drones but they only last about 20 minutes. They are trying to develop the drones so they can the land in trees and recharge.