The Garden Gnome Drone

Problem Definition

Unwanted pests which consume plants, fruits, and vegetables are a common problem for gardeners. An effective system needs to be developed to deter these pests while minimizing disruptions to non-target animals. It should be able to operate on low power, work in a variety of environments, and be easy to setup. The system must also be environmentally friendly and relatively low-cost.


This project includes designing a UAV that will be used to autonomously protect a garden. The garden will be surrounded by two or more sensors to detect movement. If the sensors detect an intrusion, the UAV will take off from its charging station, complete its flight path and land back on its charging station. The sensors will constantly poll for intrusion, and the UAV will be ready at any time.

The weather conditions that the UAV will be designed to operate in are limited to light wind only. Once the UAV has been tested for stability under these conditions, there will be opportunity to test the UAV with stronger winds (weather permitting.) To avoid damaging the UAV, testing in strong winds will be very controlled and limited. There are no plans to test the UAV in the rain at this time.

The UAV will be able to protect small to medium sized gardens, as the battery life is a limiting factor (discussed below). Given the size and slight noise generated by the UAV, it is expected to be able to deter most pests, including deer, without disturbing people in neighbouring houses.