Dead bird turned into robot

swampsparrow Dead bird turned into robot

 

Scientists in the US have turned a dead bird into a robot to help study the behaviour of swamp sparrows.

Scientists in the US have turned a dead bird into a robot to help study the behaviour of swamp sparrows.

 
Biologists and engineers at Duke University in North Carolina teamed up with a taxidermist to revive the bird, now nicknamed Robosparrow, a nod to 1987's blockbuster RoboCop.
 
The robot was created using Picaxe computer chips and a tiny linear motor, which were inserted into the preserved remains of the swamp sparrow. It took nine months to get the robotics to the level of realism needed, and the team found the primary difficulty was getting the parts in the small sizes required. A sound system was also used to play bird calls.
 
swampsparrow Dead bird turned into robot
 
Robosparrow was then sent out to mingle with others of its species for a two month period, giving researchers a better understanding of the birds. Dr. Rindy Anderson, the head of the study, said that it confirmed their suspicions that wing-flapping was a sign of male agression.
 
The research cost $1,500 and the team only had the one robot to use. Eventually the head fell off and the wings stopped moving, which might have been a bit of a shock to other swamp sparrows who thought it was the real thing.
 
Source: BBC
Image Credit: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Journal