BlueBear and the flying shepherd project.

BlueBear systems of Bedford have been involved in interesting sheepdog trials.

Real avatars, such as robots or unmanned aerial systems (UASs) can transform rural areas and the way people access them. A UAS can relay video data about animal movements to farmers, particularly useful for identifying when stock have escaped onto roads or are injured. This project will deliver a feasibility study of deploying real avatars in a rural community to:

    • define the potential services the avatar could offer
    • carry out market research amongst potential beneficiaries;
    • assess the equipment, management and running costs;
    • assess the legal framework and any constraints (particularly relevant to UASs);
    • identify network issues (wireless / 3G coverage etc.) and how they would affect the range of the avatar and the quality of the experience.



Cybermoor is a social enterprise based on Alston Moor which delivers wireless broadband services and promotes digital inclusion. The UAS can support digital inclusion for the agricultural community and increase the effectiveness of farmers, who will spend less time opening and closing gates to access fields.

Unmanned aerial systems (UASs) and robots developed for the military have the potential to deliver massive benefits to civilians in rural areas, using sensors to collect data and video, streaming it back to a controller. The Open University has been working with Cybermoor to understand how developments in avatar technology could benefit Alston Moor in Cumbria: this project looks at what avatars would be acceptable to a rural community and what data could be commercialised from these avatars. In this work package, an Aerial Avatar will provide video streams, to track livestock that have escaped out of fields or are in distress. For the purposes of this trial, the scope will be for agricultural use only.