Have a Problem with Deer? Meet R2Deer2

eclp2Want to chase deer away from your house plants? 

There may not be an app for that, but there is a robot.  

Students from a local robotics club recently took on the challenge of deer vs. plants. Naturalist Eric Malmgren of Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (ECLP) presented a program about environmental issues within ECLP to a group of youngsters from the club. They picked up on the issue of deer damage to plants and went home wondering if they could produce an answer for the problem.  

“They were inspired to solve a natural resource management issue we have in their parks,” said John Shafer, ECLP’s park manager. The youngsters took the information they learned from Malmgren, expanded on it with some research, and developed a project with the aim of preventing deer from entering a select area of land. 


They created R2Deer2. 

Shafer said R2Deer2, named after a character in the Star Wars movies, has “multiple tools to safely exclude deer from an area.” Club members brought the robot to ECLP to show what they had developed and to let staff know they were taking R2Deer2 to a FIRST Lego League state competition at James Madison University. They defined their effort in these words: 


Have you ever had deer eating away at the plants you worked so hard to plant? Well, FLL Team SensorSational found that this is a major problem for many people. So we set out to solve this problem.  


eclp3To solve this deer eating plants problem, we decided to make a robot. We found that a robot is a good choice because you can incorporate many components into one. On our robot, we included things that help detect and scare deer, such as motion sensors, LED lights, two pinwheel arms, scent misters, and solar panels for power. We are proud to present R2Deer2, the first deer preventive system that can scare deer like never before! 

Think of it as waving a light saber at Deerth Vader.  


The youngsters involved in the project were:

Konark Nangia, age 12, Union Mill ES

Taha Athar, age 11, Homeschooled

Swesik Ramineni, age 13, Rachel Carson ES

Arnav Adhikari, age 10, Hunter Woods ES

Siddharth Kalidindi, age 12, Rachel Carson ES

Sumrath Pahwa, age 11, McLean ES



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About Fairfax County Park Authority

About Fairfax County Park Authority HISTORY: On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. To date, 13 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2016. Today, the Park Authority has 427 parks on more than 23,000 acres of land. We offer 325 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park system is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: • Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist • Eight golf courses from par-3 to championship level, four driving ranges including the new state-of-the-art heated, covered range at Burke Lake Golf Center • Five nature and visitor centers. Also nine Off-Leash Dog Activity areas • Three lakefront parks including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax. The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter • Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel, as well as Chessie’s Big Backyard and a carousel at the Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park • An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter • Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s-era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel • Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent • A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly • A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale • Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community • Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center • Provides 263 athletic fields, including 39 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 417 school athletic fields. PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/social-hub/ for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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