In an effort to quiet his loud pet parrot, a robotics student has created what must certainly be one of the most complex devices ever to be operated by a bird. The "Bird Buggy" lets the parrot roll safely around the house — and keeps his beak occupied.
Andrew Gray, an engineering graduate student at the University of Florida, set out to make a device that would stop Pepper, his parrot, from screaming all the time. Deterrents didn't work: A robotic squirt gun ended up just being a scream-activated bird bath; meanwhile, a device that rattled loudly when Pepper squawked was just ignored.
Gray noticed that Pepper was calmer when they were in the same room. Of course, a big bird like a parrot can't really be allowed to fly around a house willy-nilly. So Gray built the Bird Buggy, a little scooter with a perch for Pepper and a joystick the bird can operate with his beak.