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Pet Parrot Uses Beak to Drive Around in His Robot [Video]

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Dec 10, 2012 12:01 PM EST
African Gray Parrot
African Gray Parrot (Photo : Reuters)

A student from University of Florida has designed a robot in a bid to keep his loud pet parrot calm.

Robotics student Andrew Gray designed the robot called "Bird Buggy" for the intelligent machines design laboratory course. Gray uses the robot to keep his pet African gray parrot, Pepper, from making any screeching sounds, reports The Alligator.

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Pepper makes loud noises when left on his own. The bird's wings were clipped to prevent him from moving around the house. "Our parrot, when he's left alone, screams. It's ear-piercing even if you're several rooms away," Gray told University of Florida's radio station, WUFT.

The four-wheeled metallic vehicle wasn't the first design built by Gray to stop Pepper from screaming. Earlier, Gray built a voice-activated squirt gun that stopped the parrot from making a loud noise. Although the gun initially worked wonders and helped to keep Pepper calm, the parrot started using it as a bird bath and would scream to get squirted, reports Wired website.

To fix the issue, Gray created the robot that would help Pepper move around the house with him. "Bird Buggy" has a joystick that helps in moving the robot in all four directions. Pepper uses his beak to operate the joystick and moves around in all directions. With his beak occupied in navigating the robot, Pepper stopped making loud noises.

In addition to the joystick, there are other features in the robot, like the infrared sensors and a web camera. The infrared sensors prevent forward movements when the robot encounters any objects.

Using the web camera, "Bird Buggy" switches over to autonomous mode when Pepper doesn't steer the vehicle and docks itself to a base station.

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