By Duncan Geere
Is it a bird, is it a plane?
Birds are bad news for airports. As well as the risk of a "bird-strike" downing a plane, they cause material damage estimated to run into billions of pounds a year.
To control the populations of birds, airports use pyrotechnics, sound cannons, lasers and other technological systems. But birds get used to them over time and learn to fly around them.
That's why roboticists from the University of Twente have developed a lifelike robotic bird that will patrol the landing strip, scaring real birds away at Edmonton International Airport in Canada.
The bot, which has been codenamed "Robird", mimics the appearance and flight of a falcon. It's the creation of Clear Flight Solutions - a spin-off company from the University - which collaborated on a Canadian drone services firm called Aerium for the project.