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Robotics Science Technology

Parrot Drives Robotic Buggy 182

Posted by Soulskill
from the polly-wanna-cylon dept.
grrlscientist writes "Proving that robots aren't just for people any longer, an African grey parrot, Pepper, has learned to drive a robot that was specially designed for him. Pepper, whose wings are clipped to preventing him from flying around his humans' house and destroying their things, now manipulates the joystick on his riding robot to guide it to where ever he wishes to go. This robotic 'bird buggy' was the brainchild of his human companion, Andrew Gray, a 29-year-old electrical and computer engineering graduate student at the University of Florida."

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Parrot Drives Robotic Buggy

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  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday December 07, 2012 @07:17PM (#42220995) Homepage Journal

    ...Yeah. Yeah it is. Are you fucking retarded?!? Like no, seriously... are you mentally handicapped.

    Anger aside, this is actually a very valid, important thing to mention.

    Case in point - a few months ago, a 17-year-old autistic boy was struck and killed by a car. it was 2 AM, and he was sitting in the middle of the street just past a low hill, which made him impossible for the driver to see until it was too late.

    When asked why their autistic son was sitting in the middle of a public street at 2 o' clock in the morning, the parents responded, "we always let him do what he wants."

    Incidentally, the parents are attempting to sue the driver for - brace yourselves - negligence.

  • Re:ironic... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrKaos (858439) on Friday December 07, 2012 @09:03PM (#42221925) Journal

    ...that the same human who had the birds wings clipped so it can't move has had to build him a fucking go kart so he's able to move around again.

    Fuck you, Andrew Gray, and the horse you rode in on. IF you haven't clipped its hooves at the knee, that is!

    The bird is well looked after and you can tell that just by looking at it's feathers. The very fact that the bird knows how to *drive* the buggy means that it is getting enough attention to be healthy and the fact that his wings are clipped means that the bird has appropriate flight power for being indoors - from which we can deduce that the bird is completely domesticated and thinks of it's cage as it's own 'room' - so it also has it's own territory.

    From the video the bird only flapped it's wings to maintain it's balance, that means the bird *chooses* to play with the cart. Parrots are fast, manuverable birds, and just because it's wings are clipped doesn't mean it can't fly - it just means that it won't get out of control, frustrated, scared and hurt itself inside a house. If it was a wild bird then you might have a point. The guy owns a parrot, that's a 25-60 year commitment to a pet, so before you go judging the guy ask yourself if you could do the same thing.

    Honestly settle down with the political correctness, it's far more offensive than a parrot with it's wings clipped.

  • Re:ironic... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheCarp (96830) <`ten.tenaprac' `ta' `cjs'> on Saturday December 08, 2012 @12:15AM (#42222997) Homepage

    > Cats & Dogs have been domesticated over hundreds/thousands of generations

    Cats are an interesting case in that, it appears that little domestication was needed. On the whole domesticated cats and their wild counterparts are quite similar.

    Turns out, our species had some very convinent properties for co-habitation.

    Their meat is not generally considered good, even amongst cultures where there is less taboo about eating a variety of animals. They, are under no delusion that we are prey.

    They don't eat much of what we do, only eating fairly freshly killed meat and occasional roughage. In fact, they mainly kill and eat the rodents that try to eat our food stores, and keep them away.

    On top of that, they are agreeably soft, purr, and stay mostly out of the way as they sleep 18 hours a day. Few places are safer to sleep than around us, and I bet that has been true since before we lived indoors. For cats, this was a perfect match.

    The average lifespan of a wild cat is only a couple of years. Companion cats can live upwards of 20. They hardly got the shit end of the stick.

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

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