Hacked Gadgets Forum

March 14, 2007

Remote Controlled Pigeons

at 4:01 am. Filed under Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking

Looks a bit nasty but this is a fantastic demonstration of electronics and computers interacting directly with an animal. Will this put an end to designing tiny drone spy planes?

“Scientists with the Robot Engineering Technology Research Center of east China’s Shandong University of Science and Technology say they implanted micro electrodes in the brain of a pigeon so they can command it to fly right or left or up or down.

The implants stimulated different areas of the pigeon’s brain according to signals sent by the scientists via computer, and forced the bird to comply with their commands.

It’s the first such successful experiment on a pigeon in the world, said the lead researcher, who hopes the work will have “practical use” in the future.

In the United States, similar work on animals has been of interest to the military. For example, the pigeon news follows the equally amusing animal tale about the Pentagon’s attempts at creating remote controlled shark spies. Like the Chinese pigeon experiment, the sharks had brain implants used to control their movements.”

Via: Wired and Robot Gossip


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45 Responses to “Remote Controlled Pigeons”

  1. NGinuity Says:

    That is rather disturbing. If they succeed in making this technology viable, then they could easily control humans.

    It just seems like we are going _too_ far.

    Reminds me of Alice at the end of Resident Evil 2.

  2. nooby Says:

    omg… what is that??? they really left the head open??? what if they try that with humans???

  3. jessie Says:


  4. Alan Parekh Says:

    I thought the same thing about the open head… At least place a cover over the brain before snapping pictures!

  5. cb Says:

    I, for one, welcome our mushy-headed electropigeon overlords.

  6. L0rd_D4rk Says:

    Please, post two or three news soon, every time I enter in hackedgadgets I have to see that disgusting picture of the pigeon with it’s brains coming out

    besides we haver trained carrier pigeons for centuries, this technology does not contribute anything new and it raises serious moral doubts

  7. Mitten Says:

    also, i acknowledge the Vice City reference made by cb.

  8. Paul Says:

    Maybe these will replace remote controlled airplanes as a hobby

  9. Krusty Says:

    Strap on a couple of fricken lazers and that’d be a sweet toy!

  10. Elbarfo Says:

    It would be far more complicated to do this toa human. We have far more complicated brains. The intriguing part to me is that it could be done in reverse. Think about controlling something with just a thought. Anyone ever read the Reality Dysfunction series by Peter Hamilton? Would be neat.

  11. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hey L0rd_D4rk, just squint your eyes as the page loads, it just looks like a funny cap then… It will be off the front page in no time. Until then some readers may need some of those airline bags close at hand. 🙂

  12. gp Says:

    Really, please remove that picture. That is the most disturbing thing I’ve seen on the net for years. And yes I have seen allot!!! Makes me want to puke and cry at the same time…

  13. Sean Says:

    This is terrible. Those things are alive. We have enough technology to emulate life and given time, better AI. I see no reason to take the will out of an animal. I also agree that using this t control humans is quite possible.

  14. vishal Says:


  15. Chris Rybitski Says:

    That does seem rather cruel, but intriguing none the less.

  16. Shane Conder Says:

    Wow, that really is a bit disturbing. Sure, I’m all for a brain-to-computer interface for things like memory enhancement (store off your images as photos or whatever), but I don’t imagine something as grotesque as this — both in visuals and what it does to the unfortunate bird. This was innevitable, though, after the remote control cockroaches frm a while back.

    I’m not even sure what we’re looking at here, either. Just what is sticking out of the poor birds head? Not sure I really want to know….

  17. Jay Says:

    I found the fact that someone could think this up and consider it acceptable more repulsive than the actual physical truth. It just shows that there are no boundaries to what people will do in the interest of ‘science’. The act of hacking electrodes into the mind of a creature, however small, is not progress it’s Victorian quack science.

  18. emma Says:

    cool blog!

  19. Hexypoo Says:

    Umm, this is somewhat sadistic, but cool none the less.

  20. Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog » Blog Archive » Computer Mouse using a Dead Mouse Says:

    […] If the remote controlled pigeon post turned your stomach you may want to stop reading about this project now… Noahw and Canida have made a computer mouse using a real dead mouse. “Obtain a small travel-size (hardware) mouse. This one is a wired mouse that is way to small to use comfortably every day, but perfect for going inside of a mouse. Obtain a similarly-sized (wetware) mouse. These are commonly available fresh or frozen from pet stores, or any other place that sells reptile food. It’s easier to fit a small object into a large mouse than a large object into a small mouse, so err on the side of caution. You can always fill extra space with cotton balls. If you’ve got an optical (hardware) mouse, make sure to choose a pale-furred (wetware) mouse for lightest skin pigment – this will be important later.” […]

  21. Von Kidd Says:

    I wrote some interesting info about “mind control” harassment by neighborhood activists back in 2001. It is in some archives. To find it Google: “Von Kidd” + “mind control”. In the results the one at buffalo.edu is heavily edited, the one at Topica directory is not.
    The info about how the perps hide their signal is incorrect. Not all the links work anymore, use the link’s topic as a search term. All the info from the links and more -including reliable, verifiable documentation from the media- is at: WantToKnow.Info. On their topic bar click mind control.

    In Freedom and Liberty,

    Von Kidd

  22. güvercin Says:

    Thanks for the post.

  23. Doberman Says:

    is this real? 🙁

  24. Alan Parekh Says:

    It sure is real!

  25. Flogger » Blog Archive » Remote Controlled Pigeons Says:

    […] The implants stimulated different areas of the pigeon’s brain according to signals sent by the scientists via computer, and forced the bird to comply with their commands.” – http://hackedgadgets.com/ […]

  26. asdfasfds Says:


  27. alan_gbk Says:

    If the animals are used in the proper way like searching and rescue people, I will agree. For example, it is very common to use dogs to find the victims trapped in the collapsed building. Why not we also remote control rats to look for victims underground? – http://www.private-aircraft.biz

  28. Fasih Says:

    Dear Sir,

    i need a remote cntrol flying gadget with mini camera and mic.
    please send me the details of the available products.



  29. AK Says:

    This is sick. The people who do this are sick. I agree that animals should be used in scientific experiments sometimes, such as for medicinal purposes (e.g. drugs testing), however in these cases, it does seem neccessary. I see absolutely no reason for this, it is pointless, and the scientists did it out of interest, nothing more. THIS IS WRONG, and i am proud to say that this would never happen in Britain!

  30. Drexel Says:

    No surprise this is by Chinese scientists. Gotta love a country where you can buy 4 year old prostitutes and butcher dogs and cats for restaurant use. Up with animal rights…

  31. beavershit Says:

    I think you need to do a pigeon like the dead-mouse/computer-mouse but with a hobby helicopter. then you can race the pigeon like in the redbull air races.

  32. Deceth.com » Blog Archive » Brain Implants Create Cyborg Pigeons Says:

    […] The implants stimulated different areas of the pigeon’s brain according to signals sent by the scientists via computer, and forced the bird to comply with their commands.” – http://hackedgadgets.com/ […]

  33. Rat Brain Robot - Cultured Brain Cells operate a Robot - Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] hope this article doesn’t creep out as many people as the Remote Controlled Pigeon article did. It looks like researchers have found a way to take some brain cells and repourposed […]

  34. pox Says:

    Now if they can only implant an electrode to make it crap.

  35. pyro Says:

    you piece of shit

  36. Matt Says:

    Ok I’m not really for them not closing the bird’s head and all but other then that(and the fact
    that there is a remote control thingy in its head) it wouldn’t act any differently from a pigeon
    that didn’t have the implant unless they are actively controling it. Because of this I think that
    it would be a safe and effective way way to, for example, keep pitbulls from biting people. Maybe
    when the pitbull was going to bite someone the owner could just press a button and it would make
    the pitbull’s jaw open and make it sortof just sit there untill the person left the area. That way
    people could still have pitbulls, the putbulls’ mouths wouldn’t have to be kept in weird cagey
    things as though they are criminals and they would be perfectly safe for everyone. And as a bonus
    they could add in a GPS tracker so if the dog ran away you could just hold down the “sit” button
    and use the GPS tracker to find it. (and hopefuly you won’t accidentally press the sit button
    while it is crossing a highway. LOL

  37. Communist Says:

    This is just one step closer to the zombie apocalypse!

  38. Remote-controlled Cyborg Beetle - Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] technology have a look at some of the other developments that we have featured before such as the Remote Controlled Pigeon, Rat Brain Remote, Moth Head Robot and the Cockroach […]

  39. Remote-controlled Cyborg Beetle at Geeker Says:

    […] technology have a look at some of the other developments that we have featured before such as the Remote Controlled Pigeon, Rat Brain Remote, Moth Head Robot and the Cockroach […]

  40. Have you met Larry the Remote Controlled Pigeon? – Looble... Looble! Says:

    […] The brain implants you see sticking out of Larry’s head actually stimulate different areas of Larry’s brain according to signals sent by scientists. The signals force Larry to comply with commands. When scientists want Larry to fly left, they send a signal, and Larry thinks, “Hey I really want to go left!”. You can read more details on the subject at Hacked Gadgets. […]

  41. diane gould Says:

    Commenting usually is not my thing, but ive surfed an hour on the website, so thanks for the great information Greetings.

  42. JJ Says:

    ok so would the bird realize he is being controled. say they tell him to move up would he be forced to go up even though he wanted to go down. or is it simply unaware of it and the reposnse to the signal is i want to go up with out any idea that its no him putting that idea in his head.

  43. Arnona Says:

    What kind of control is that ? if they’d open my head and put a huge hammer inside it i would do anything because of fear. not because it’s some stupid technology.

  44. SciCron Says:

    Many people seem to be digusted. If the picture did not show the brain, more people would be ok with it?!
    One guy said he is happy this wont happen in britan. Humans are hypycrates……imagine…..we are so deeply concerned about a pigeon which is the right thing to do, yet we keep killing each other day in day out.

    We have (especially USA, Britian and the west in general) tens of trillions of dollars and more on weapons to kill people, yet tenth of that number would make every human on earth live a comfertable life. We throw hundreds of millions of dollars yearly worth of merchandise into the sea to protect market pricing, yet tens of thousands of children in africa die every year because their families did not afford a $10 vacination.

    I believe if we can develop this technology without hurting the animal, then we can use this for the sake of humanity……but then again I am sure it will be used by militaries around the world to kill people…..

  45. Mariana Says:

    This is animal cruelty and will be reported.

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