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Cameras would spot crops being devoured and launch the drones to drive birds away.
The craft could also play scary predator sounds to add to the effect, helping to save growers millions a year.
A Washington State University team adapted small drones for a study, said journal Computer and Electronics in Agriculture.
Manoj Karkee, US study author, said: “We could make drones look like predators or have reflective propellers that are really shiny.”
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