The power of pigeons
Cracking the micro-router was only half the battle. They also had to develop a sustainable and effective network.
“Pigeons really have made Fli-Fy possible. They’re everywhere and non-migratory, so our coverage doesn’t fly south for the winter. They also provide our micro-routers with a unique method of recharging,” Tim Verhoeven, Senior Pigeon Engineer.
Carrier pigeons can carry a maximum of 75 grams on their backs. So at only 26 grams, the micro-router is virtually unnoticeable. Working with respected pigeon expert Brian Woodhouse, Samsung has developed a lightweight harness that is water-resistant and doesn’t impede the pigeon’s normal flying action. He said: “I was very happy with the way my pigeons were treated and they did not suffer any harm at all.”
“It was crucial that the pigeons maintained their normal behavioural patterns. This was how we were going to get our micro-routers out there and achieve blanket coverage,” Tim said.
“With their hollow legs, which allow for an electric charge to flow up into the micro-router, pigeons can keep the network powered by simply standing on power lines.”
“Once we had it figured out, we were like, why hasn’t anyone else thought of this?”