Ever had a Pigeon shit on you while you were innocently walking down the road? Come on, we’ve all been there, right? Well, in a bizarre and equally adorable turn of events, instead of causing it, these winged beauties will now be helping test the air quality to gauge air pollution levels in London!

pigeon air patrol

Picture Source  pigeon air patrol

Marketing firm DigitasLBi teamed up with Paris-based tech startup company Plume Labs to design wearable tiny backpacks fitted with air pollution sensors which weigh less than an ounce! These cute little backpacks are then fitted onto the backs of racing pigeons with velcro harnesses and they’re set free!

pigeon air patrol

Picture Source  pigeon air patrol

The backpacks monitor ozone, any volatile compounds and nitrogen dioxide in the air, as well as the location of the pigeons! There are currently 10 members of the Pigeon Air Patrol, and they’re not your regular Pigeons either! They’re all racing Pigeons, belonging to Brian Woodhouse, a member of the Royal Racing Pigeon Association. Flying drones above London being illegal, the Racing Pigeons were the best choice, due to their speed and the low heights at which they fly!

pigeon air patrol

Picture Source  pigeon air patrol

Woodhouse said that pigeons are perfect for the project.

I liked the sound of it. I thought it was an extremely good idea, knowing that the pigeons in the First World War and the Second World War used to fly with messages, vital messages, for our troops and allies.

A vet is also checking on the pigeons regularly, making sure they’re healthy, and up for their task. The company is currently using open data from already existing weather stations, but has plans to extend its data points using the wearable devices. Apart from the Pigeons, the firm is also working on clip-on pollution measuring devices for humans, their next project!

pigeon air patrol

Picture Source pigeon air patrol

If you’re someone who lives in London, do follow the Pigeon Air Patrol on Twitter and try asking them for the latest pollution reading in your area!

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