To collect whale snot, drones will replace crossbows. In an oceanic research move that seems like a quantum leap in technology, dronemaker Yuneec announced on Monday that it is collaborating with Ocean Alliance to collect health data on whales by using robots, instead of shooting the whales in the blowhole.
Once a research team spots the whales, they will fly Typhoon and Tornado drones that are carrying petri dishes into the cloud of snot exhaled by the whale blowholes.
In contrast, most current methods of physical sample collection involve pursuit in a motorized boat and firing a biopsy dart from a crossbow. In addition to causing stress to the whales, it is believed this approach can skew results, especially with regard to understanding stress levels for whales outside of captivity.
?Snot bots are designed to remove the potential harm caused to whales during the research process. After an extensive search, we determined the Yuneec product line of quiet and sophisticated drones gives us the best possibility of success,? Kerr added.