Fire-starting drones for ecological control

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The advancement of robotics has seen an increase in their use for activities humans would rather avoid, from coral reef conservation to grocery delivery. A drone from Nimbus Lab could be used to ignite controlled forest fires. Developed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the autonomous drone can drop incendiary objects over a preset flight path. The robot injects small, plastic balls with flammable but slow burning alcohol prior to deployment, and once they have been dropped to the allocated spot, a controlled fire starts. Active forest fire (or "prescribed burns") are useful ecological and land management tools, which reduce the…

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