One can see where the name comes from (Photo: Yle)Reindeer herders in Lapland are using new technology to find lost livestock, a flying barbeque. It may seem strange but when looking at the picture, one can understand the name.

The flying barbeque is actually a minicopter, a flying object with an attached camera. The machine is designed in France and can fly as high as 150 meters.

It can survey the landscape in hunt for the reindeer for up to 10 kilometers. Many reindeers have radio transmitters around their necks and if the herders lose their reindeers to predators, they can be found via the transmitter.

The remote control steers well and testing has been good. "All our experiences up to now have been positive," said project director Jari Nykänen of Eastern Lapland technical college.

"The neck transmitter has been found further away than when searches are conducted at ground level," he says but lost reindeers can be very costly for the reindeer herders.

Every year herders lose up to 20,000 reindeer to predators. On average, just a fifth of these are found.

"Even one lost reindeer that isn't found represents a loss of several thousand euros," said Heikki Härmä of Kallioluoma Reindeer Owners Association.

Despite the losses, few businessmen currently operate small 'minicopters'. The sector is expected to explode over the next few years. The devices are especially suited to aerial filming.

Other parties are also interested in the object; both filmmakers and the police have shown an interest.



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