Year In Ideas 2008 from the NYTimes…

Craft & Design
Year In Ideas 2008 from the NYTimes…

 Packages Images Magazine 20081214 Ideas Articles Art V Nd50080Ca Fpo
Year In Ideas 2008 @ The NYTimes is a little tricky to navigate, but there is a lot to see, including our old favorite – the crow vending machine!

In June, Josh Klein revealed his master’s-thesis project to a flock of crows at the Binghamton Zoo in south-central New York State. The New York University graduate student offered the birds coins and peanuts from a dish attached to a vending machine he’d created, then took the peanuts away. Klein designed the machine so that when the crows searched for the missing peanuts, they pushed the coins out of a dish into a slot, causing more peanuts to be released into the dish. The Binghamton crows quickly learned that dropping nickels and dimes into the slot produced peanuts, and the most resourceful members of the flock began looking for more coins. Within a month, Klein had a flock of crows scouring the ground for loose change.

Cornell University and Binghamton University to study how wild crows make use of his machine. Although his invention might conjure Hitchcock-worthy visions of crows stealing the loose change from pedestrians’ pockets and hands, Klein’s conception is more benign. To Klein, the machine demonstrates the value of cooperating with “synanthropes” — animals that have adapted seamlessly to human environments. “Rather than just killing off a species, why not see if they can do something useful for us, so we can all live in close proximity?” he said. To pursue his research, he founded the Synanthropy Foundation this year. Someday, he hopes, similar techniques may allow us to train rats to sort our garbage for us.

490554096 Ea1A8F3A6F
Back in 2007 I picked Josh Klein’s “crow vending machine” as one of my favorite projects from the ITP show…

2 thoughts on “Year In Ideas 2008 from the NYTimes…

  1. Anonymous says:

    This article should be taken down since it has false informatin. Mr.Klien did NOT try his machine on the crows at the Binghamton Zoo, ever.

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

current: @adafruit - previous: MAKE, popular science, hackaday, engadget, fallon, braincraft ... howtoons, 2600...

View more articles by Phillip Torrone


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).