Tokyo plans monkey-chasing drone tests

Special zones planned to experiment with drones.

Officials in Tokyo want to test whether drones can chase monkeys away from farms, with a special drone-testing zone being planned. “We’d like to try chasing away the monkeys with sound-emitting drones,” said an official in Tokyo’s Hinohara town, according to The Japan News. Monkeys from the surrounding mountains are a nuisance to farmers, regularly destroying their crops. The Tokyo government plans to set up “special drone zones” in mountains and islands around the city to trial new ways of using drones. “We hope to conduct experiments on a wide range of uses,” a Tokyo official said. Apart from chasing monkeys, officials want to trial drones to send supplies to areas cut off by natural disasters; track forest fires and landslides; monitor rare plants and animals; access remote islands; and film remote tourist locations. Officials from four towns around Tokyo city are keen on the project, which will be setup next year. The Japanese government allows drones to be used only within a restricted range of frequencies, but these could be relaxed in these designated areas. This would allow officials to test drone flights over longer distances and collect high-resolution images.