Forget about recording scenic footage of the country’s beautiful, rugged terrain: when it comes to utilising the power of drones, Icelanders are all about work rather than play. Perhaps inspired by the drones working tirelessly to bring the nation fresh, hot pizzas, a farmer from the Bárðardalur valley in South Þingeyjarsýsla has invested in his own little robot friend to help round up his sheep in the evening, Vísir reports.
Ólafur Ólafsson, who works on the Bjarnastaðir farm, says the bold new technological venture has saved him a lot of money in labour costs. With its 30-minute battery life and seven kilometre range, encouraging the sheep along the path with the drone means Ólafur can chill out and relax back at the farm while watching the sheep make their way home via the video screen. Sure beats battling the Icelandic winter weather every evening. It’s not all fun and games though, and Ólafur admits there is one slight problem: unlike your average Icelandic sheepdog, the drone does not bark.
Despite its lack of woofs, the drone shepherd still appears to be doing a good job. Ólafur says he only bought the drone this Autumn, but it’s already proven itself as a faithful and effective friend in rounding up the sheep across wide ranging areas of farmland. If any especially fearless animal tries to make a break for the rolling hills, there’s now no need for some poor labourer to leg it after it, the drone can simply buzz backwards and bring it back in line, effortlessly.
Some of Ólafur’s recorded footage was shown on the Stöð 2 news. Watch as the diligent little bot gently encourages its woolly wards across a stream and back to the safety of the sheep barn. (Video credit: Stöð 2)