Shep the sheepdrone could soon be putting sheepdogs out of work (video)

30 Mar 2015

Once again, technology is changing the career paths of centuries-old traditions with a new video by Irish farmer Paul Brennan demonstrating how Shep the ‘sheepdrone’ can herd sheep effectively.

Based in Carlow, Brennan is making headlines around the world for his amazing video which shows Shep, the quadrocopter sheepdrone, rounding up sheep at a farm with relative ease.

Taken as part of Brennan’s Skyfly Photography business, the drone is close to achieving 100,000 views on YouTube at the time of writing after being posted over the weekend and could soon see sheepdogs everywhere look nervously to the skies for the buzz of their future competitors.

How drones will gradually be introduced into mainstream agriculture remains to be seen however, but a number of experts ‘in the field’ believe that aside from just pestering sheep into a pen, they can effectively digitise agriculture, at least according to David Hunt, founder of Agrilarity

“What is really going to change agriculture is what we can do with the data that these drones produce – we can finally digitise agriculture,” said Hunt in an interview with Alltech.

In the meantime however, the UK’s National Farmers’ Union (NFU) believe sheepdogs can rest assured they have a job for the foreseeable future, “The reality is that a good sheepdog is a far better way to go about the job.”

Sheep herding image via Shutterstock

Updated 29 June 2015: 

This article was amended to reflect that David Hunt is not the managing director of Comex McKinnon having decided to leave to form his own company in July 2014 called Agrilarity.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic