Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Dutch start-up develops Dogdrones to fight dog poo problem

No really, no you have to keep reading it’s the market. Also it is Friday, please feel free to discuss this one down the pub, GM., a Dutch dog website, and its partner Space53, an international test center for drones, developed two Dogdrones to fight dog poo. The two Dogdrones – Watchdog 1 (WD1) and Patroldog 1 (PD1) combine drone technology in the air and on the ground.

Watchdog and Patroldog:

Watchdog and Patroldog are working together in order to first detect and then collect dog poo from the streets. “Watchdog is an aerial drone that uses GPS technology to guide Patroldog on the ground”, explains Marc from Space53. The aerial drone uses modern cameras as well as thermal imaging. “This technology is currently used to detect fawns in high grass areas and prevent deadly encounters with harvesters. We use the same technology to detect dog poo on heat maps and sent the GPS location to the ground drone Patroldog to collect the poo”.

Dog Poo is a Problem for Dog Owners as well

The idea for Dogdrones originated when Gerben Lievers and Marc Sandelowsky met at an event for entrepreneurs from the Twente region. Lievers and Sandelowsky did not know each other before, but got talking about the dog business and the newest developments in the area of drone technology. Lievers: “We talked about drone technology and the possibilities and solutions that are made possible through new developments in the drone world. During the conversation we got talking about a huge problem in the Netherlands. Dog Poo.” On, a Dutch website to compare dog products, dog poo is a big topic and widely discussed among the community. We have more than 13.000 followers on Facebook, mostly people who own dogs themselves. They are frustrated about owners that do not clean up the mess of their dogs, as well. In the beginning we were just joking around, but then realised that we can solve a huge problem.“

Every year 100 million kilos of dog poo are not disposed

According to Lievers, dog poo is not only annoying but also a serious problem. “In the Netherlands, every year 100 million kilos of dog poo are not disposed.” Especially with the rising temperature in spring, dog poo can seriously endanger people’s health. Dog poo contains bacteria, viruses, parasites and worms that are especially harmful for children. Adults and other dogs are at risk, as well. Parasite eggs can survive for years and result in a danger of infection if dog poo is not properly disposed.

Prototypes are tested in Living Lab Twente

Lievers and Sandelowsky have worked together since the beginning of the year to develop prototypes of Watchdog 1 and Patroldog 1. Sandelowsky:”The idea matches our wish to develop innovative solutions and test them in the world around us. This is done in so called living labs. These are research environments where several parties can work together to develop smart solutions. This projects fits to our vision and the vision of a start-up like”

Prototypes are not perfect yet

According to Lievers and Sandelowsky the first prototypes are not perfect, yet. “Especially Patroldog (the ground drone) does not have enough capacity to clean up large quantities of dog poo. We want to develop bigger models in the future. Furthermore, we are looking for smart ways to recycle the dog poo. After all, it is about 100 million kilos every year.”


Dog and drone lovers wanted for test flights

To collect these huge amounts of dog poo Space53 and are making an appeal to the public. “We have the technology and training facilities. The challenge is to find people who want to help to make this idea a success”, explain Lievers en Sandelowsky. For that reason, and Space53 offer the opportunity for people to sign up as test pilots for the dogdrones. “We want to investigate if we can use a network of volunteers to face this challenge in the whole Netherlands.” People who are interested can sign up at

Innovation conforms to impending legislation

With their idea, and Space53 anticipate impending laws, which will allow for unmanned vehicles to navigate public space. “The regulations in Estonia, for example, have been loosened. Here in the Netherlands it is only a question of time. Self-driving cars are on the political order of business. If that is possible, politically and legally, there are no obstacles anymore for autonomous dronetechnology” , explains Marc Sandelowsky from Space53.

About is a Dutch start-up set up by Elevar BV, a company that specializes in innovation to simplify daily life. Dogdrones derived from and aims to solve problems related to dogs. is a comparison website for dog products. In addition, the website offers advice and tools to improve a dog’s life, as every dog’s happiness depends on the choices their owner makes. was introduced on October 4th of last year and has become a popular website among the community of dog owners. Furthermore, Elevar BV plans to launch a German version of their comparison website in the near future.

About Space 53

Space53 is the national test center for drone technology on the ground, in the water and in the air. Space53 is a cooperation of private and public players. It is unique in Western Europe because Space53 has its own airfield, a security campus and enough space to test and develop drone systems of all sizes. They are also in close collaboration with local research and educational facilities, like the University of Twente.



Gary Mortimer
Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.