Drone Ranger can home in on yellow-eyed penguin nests quick smart

Rather than crawling around in the bush of a subantarctic island for hours searching for yellow-eyed penguin nests, Massey University PhD student Chris Muller can now do it all by drone.

When looking at the population of yellow-eyed penguins on the subantarctic Auckland Islands, which are 465 kilometres south of New Zealand, Muller came up with the project Drone Ranger, which uses drone technology to monitor wildlife.

Muller won the Innovate 2018 business competition for the project, where he teamed up with engineers from the University of Canterbury, a radio expert, a drone expert and a software expert, to create a new way of radio-tracking the birds.

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