“We can help conserve this animal with a $3,000 drone and a few drops of snot.”
The Snotbot is the brain child of Iain Kerr, CEO of Ocean Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to the conservation of whales and their environment. As a custom-built aerial platform, it is an ingenious way of adopting cutting edge technology to solve the problems the organization has met in its work to study and preserve our whales. DJI joined and filmed the Snotbot team’s expedition to the Sea of Cortez where our Inspire 1 successfully aided the researchers in collecting samples that will let science take another step forward. This is the Snotbot story.
By substituting motor boats with aerial platforms, researchers can easily survey a large area while positioned half a mile away from their subject. Maneuvering the drone above a whale as it surfaces, they’re able to quickly collect snot and blow exhaled from its lungs. This new method for collecting samples is much less invasive to the whales and much quicker, so that researchers need just one day to collect the samples that would previously have taken a week, a large research vessel and a crew of twelve.
If you look in the eye of a whale, it touches you.
Dr. Iain Kerr is passionate and articulate about his commitment to the ocean and the benefits of using drones in his work. Well worth your time, Snotbot is one of those feel good videos that make a producer’s day and richly deserves the coveted “eye-candy” tag.