Smart pigeons to measure London pollution levels

Mar 22, 2016 | Mobile

A designer in London has come up with a natural way of deploying internet of things (IoT) pollution sensors… using pigeons. Introducing the #PigeonAir patrol team: Norbert, Coco and Julius. At your service! pic.twitter.com/N1vg5tZZak — Pigeon Air Patrol (@PigeonAir) March 14, 2016 This month, a flock of half a dozen racing pigeons were set loose […]

A designer in London has come up with a natural way of deploying internet of things (IoT) pollution sensors… using pigeons.


This month, a flock of half a dozen racing pigeons were set loose from a rooftop in Brick Lane by pigeon fancier, Brian Woodhouse, with one strapped with a pollution sensor to its back and one with a GPS tracker.
Woodhouse worked with creative director of the marketing agency DigitasLBI, Pierre Dequesnoy to highlight the issues of pollution in the UK’s capital city, both for the people that live there, and the pigeons that also call it their home.
Created as part of a project called Pigeon Air Patrol, the connected sensor is then able to inform the public of its findings through the pigeon’s own Twitter account, which will also respond when asked by residents what the readings are in their area.
While currently only on one pigeon, the idea makes a lot of sense given that the pigeon population of London is estimated to be around 200,000 by those who have put in the hours of research.


“There’s something about taking what is seen as a flying rat and reversing that into something quite positive,” said Duquesnoy, who has also called the city’s level of pollution a “scandal”.
Duqesnoy said he was inspired to use pigeons having seen how effective pigeons were when used during the two world wars as a means of communication.

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