Tags: pigeon | backpacks | pollution | london

Pigeon Backpacks Pollution Study: Birds Help Monitor London's Air Quality

Image: Pigeon Backpacks Pollution Study: Birds Help Monitor London's Air Quality
‏(Twitter/@PigeonAir)

By    |   Wednesday, 16 Mar 2016 09:54 AM

Pigeons wearing tiny backpacks are now monitoring air pollution in London.

The project — dubbed Pigeon Air Patrol, which is controlled by technology startup Plume Labs — allows people to tweet their location to @PigeonAir to find out the pollution level as measured by the devices the pigeons are carrying, the BBC reported.

Pierre Duquesnoy and Matt Daniels, of Digitas LBi, originally submitted the idea to a Twitter competition and it went on to win the "Solve a Problem" category at the London Design Festival.

The three-day Pigeon Air Patrol experiment began Monday and aims to raise awareness about air pollution, which kills about 9,500 people in London each year, The Guardian reported.

“It is a scandal. It is a health and environmental scandal for humans — and pigeons. We’re making the invisible visible,” Duquesnoy told the U.K. newspaper. “Most of the time when we talk about pollution people think about Beijing or other places, but there are some days in the year when pollution was higher and more toxic in London than Beijing, that’s the reality.”

The idea was inspired by the use of pigeons during wartime.

“There’s something about taking what is seen as a flying rat and reversing that into something quite positive,” Duquesnoy said.

Plume Labs has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a beta test that would include humans wearing the sensors in what it hopes will be “the first human-powered air pollution monitoring network.”

Researchers at Imperial College London will analyze data from sensors worn by 100 humans moving around London, Tech Times reported. That initiative, called E-Plume, will begin after Pigeon Air Patrol.

Twitter users cheered the air pollution project.








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Pigeons wearing tiny backpacks are now monitoring air pollution in London.
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