Have you ever heard of a flying sheepdog? Well, you have now(ish)! Because across the pond in Ireland, some pretty tech-savvy sheep farmers are using a drone to herd their flock.
Okay so the word ‘drone’ comes with a lot of heavy (usually warfare-geared) implications, but farming brothers Declan and Paul Brennan came up with the idea to try herding their sheep with a drone. After considering the advantages of having a non-barking, non-biting, sheep ‘dog’ that didn’t need feeding or resting — they thought the pros outweighed the cons. Lucky for them, their drone plan also worked (meaning, the sheep responded to it). Even the national farmers union admitted it was a good way to check up on distant grazing animals, though they didn’t think it would replace sheepdogs altogether. One problem? The drone needs to be manned by a human, dogs don’t.
The whole miraculous sheep-herding experience is caught on video. Watch as the camera-equipped remote controlled-copter herds the flock from one end of the field to the other, almost flawlessly (and relish in the fact that the video is accompanied by the Benny Hill theme, which for some reason works perfectly).
This may not be the future of sheep herding, but it’s definitely pretty clever. We also like that the drone is named Shep. Well done, Shep!