Thursday, March 15, 2012

Squirrel Deterrence

Here's a run robotic application for repelling rogue squirrels using a water pistol.

The initial idea of an automated bird spotter is interesting, and it would be even more fun to go beyond this into the area of animal biometrics. Animal biometrics seems to be a little-studied topic at present, and is largely confined to cattle. With a high resolution image on a webcam with a zoom lens it might be possible to get enough detail to recognize not just bird species but particular individuals. If identification was reliable enough then by logging and analyzing that data it would be possible to build up a picture of the lives of individual creatures and their position in the pecking order. Field biologists sometimes do this kind of work, but it's a very painstaking manual process.

 For an automated bird spotter you could have a dual camera setup, similar to the vision system of the MIT Cog robot. One camera would have a wide angle lens and would be for detecting and orienting towards targets, and the other would have a narrow telescopic field of view for trying to obtain the biometrics.

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