Posted Dec 10th 2012 7:58PM
Andrew Gray, had a parrot problem: his pet African Grey parrot, Pepper, made a screaming racket when he wasn't around. Either because no one wanted Pepper using that evolutionary skill called "flying," or because Andrew is an electrical and computer engineering student at the University of Florida and so why let evolution do what computers can do for you, he built Pepper a contraption called the Bird Buggy so that Pepper could stay close.
It's a computer-controlled cart that Pepper can drive with a joystick mounted in front of his perch. It moves forward and back, left and right, has infrared sensors to keep Pepper from hitting walls, and bump sensors that will automatically reverse the buggy if it does manage to collide with something. The body is shaped to hold the day's paper so that Pepper can do his business on the go. And when it's time to recharge, the Bird Buggy can operate autonomously, using a forward-mounted camera to locate and dock with its recharging station.
Without a doubt it beats any toy we'll get this Christmas. Check it out in the video below.