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Animatronic Owl Project [message #51114] Tue, 10 July 2012 15:58 UTC Go to previous message
avatar InnerbreedFX  is currently offline InnerbreedFX
Messages: 76
Registered: May 2012
Go to my shop
Member
My name is Jonny,

Iv' been an undiscovered artist for many years.
most of my personal work involves character designs and concept games art, but i have a real passion for animatronics and robotics of which i have followed for many years.

cut the story short...
http://www.innerbreed.co.uk/

My project has been running for a while. The first few prototypes were all hand sculpted and cast in house in molds. but thanks to Shapeways 'i have a real opportunity to make this project take off.

This is an old image of some of the parts and so improvements have been made since.
index.php?t=getfile&id=18363&private=0

The final bird will be feathered professionally by the UK's leading taxidermist, Mike Gadd.

Further reading.....
ABOUT THE PROJECT

A brief description about the project...
A lot of research with raptors require to capture individuals to put on identifying leg bands, and may radio transmitters. Raptors can be very difficult to trap. One of the most efficient tools is to find an active nest. The adults raptors will usually be protective of their nestlings, and especially aggressive toward large birds, such as the hawk or owl. They use this behavior to facilitate capturing other hawks. Essentially, they will set up a net near the nest and place a lure in front of it. The hawks will swoop at the lure to try to chase it from the nest area and get captured in the net. It is a very effective trapping method, but there are several problems that a good animatronic lure would overcome.

The goal in building this project?...
Some researcher have made stuffed lure with heads that can be rotated with radio control. They do not work well, but I believe my animatronic hawk, would be a substantial leap in terms of trapping lures. The cocking of the head, opening of the beak, and for the future development i will make it spread its wings, then it would make it, I suspect, incredibly efficient in trapping raptors. I am certain that, if it was confirmed to work well, numerous researchers would be interested in forgoing the headaches of live lures and stuffed decoys by getting an animatronic. My goal is to successfully field test this idea.

How this project aims to solve problems...
There are several problems that a good animatronic lure would overcome. First, we have to have federal and state permits to use a live lure for this purpose. The lures are usually non-releasable rehabilitated birds with some injury (e.g., broken wing). Getting these permits is a very onerous task due to federal and state legal requirements. Second, because the lure is alive, we have to provide food and care for it, and protect it from environmental conditions such as cold, heat, direct sunlight, etc. Third, Animal Welfare Legislation in the United States (which is even more restrictive in the UK) has led to many institutions not allowing the use of a live lures for this purpose without substantial justification and oversight. This has led many researchers to use plastic scarecrow lures. However, these do not work well for trapping.

Working With Nature...
Life-like movements are critical for getting an aggressive response from hawks. I know the current hawk has a long way to go but as far as im aware there is nothing like this currently out there? The use of scarecrows or stuffed owls also may induce greater disturbance to the nesting hawks due to low aggression response but repeated disturbance due to the researcher trying to capture them repeatedly. This is also problematic when trapping in remote locations; you want the trap to work the first time after hauling all the equipment in to the site.

[Updated on: Tue, 10 July 2012 16:10 UTC]


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