back to article Chinese develop remote-controlled pigeons

Chinese scientists have pulled off what they claim is a world first: controlling pigeons via brain-implanted "micro electrodes", Reuters reports. Xinhua news agency explained today that boffins at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Center at Shandong University of Science and Technology were able to "command [the pigeons …


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  1. Greg Nelson

    Bombs Away!

    With fine tuning this could add a whole new dimension to the idea of raining on someone's parade. The proclivity pigeons have for defecating on public statues could be extended to hits on unsuspecting enemies. I gotta get me one of these.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pigeon post

    "the report "did not specify what practical uses the scientists saw for the remote-controlled pigeons"

    Obvious, innit? If you can plant one of these devices in each and every pigeon, you can command them to remove themselves from city centres and prevent them from being the health risk that they presently are.

    However, it begs the question -- instead of planting a high tech device, wouldn't it be easier to just kill them outright?

    Nasty, obnoxious, ugly and unhealthy things -- we really don't need them, except perhaps to keep a dozen of them in zoos -- if they can actually find that many healthy ones.

  3. David Harper

    Windows for CyberPigeons

    Let's hope that the control software for the Chinese cyber-pigeons doesn't run on Windows. I have a disturbing mental image of a feathered botnet inflicting a massive DDoS attack which would leave Trafalgar Square knee-deep in guano.

  4. Lee Staniforth

    Uh oh...

    I bet Dastardly and Muttley are REALLY furious about this!

  5. Shane Lusby

    The next gaming trend

    The use for this is obvious. Everyone says gamers should get out and get a little sun. This way they grab their remote control pigeon and can do a little statue dive bombing on a sunny day in the park.

  6. Louis Cowan

    Lots of possibilities

    Well, get enough of these and a few bits of rope and we have a new public transport system! Or for those places with no wind, yet desire to have a wind farm, set the pigeons to hover!

    Or course, Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" certainly seems a possiblitiy should any malicious coder feel it within their duty to get one back for the "worms" :)

  7. Simon Hayes


    Jose Delgardo was using Stimoceiver technology to control a charging Bull in the 1960's. After a little research he found that the implant was not necessary. He could achieve similar control using pulsed electromagnetic energy at 430 MHz

    In the following article he freely admits to testing on humans.

    I experienced this kind of 'Remote Control' on the london Underground in March 2000.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bloggers next?

    The idea of the Chinese working on electronic mind control devices will really put the cat among the cyber-pigeons in some circles.

    I mean if they can use this technology to force mere birds to lean to the right...

  9. Steve Roper

    And where to go from here...

    Well, they've got it going with pigeons and mice. Next will be cats, dogs, monkeys... and human beings...

    The ultimate in mind control. Eventually, everyone will be fitted with a remote control chip. And then we can see the practical uses of this technology: Protesters against despotic new laws can now be dispersed at the press of a button. Striking workers forced to return to work for no pay - in fact, why wait until they strike? Control voters at the ballot box - the Neocons win by a unanimous landslide!

    Marketers will have a field day. Customers programmed to pick up certain products and put them in their shopping trolleys. Make them pay double and like it. Force people to stare at ads and billboards while waiting for the bus.

    Then the hackers and/or unscrupulous cops get hold of it: Bank robbery by remote control. Some innocent guy on the street is picked up and sent into a bank to stick the place up. Program Johnny Public down the street to hijack an aircraft.

    These "scientists" should be hunted down and shot for the good of humanity. Anyone engaging in this kind of research makes Hitler look like Mother Theresa, and should be publicly executed. If this is where the world is going, all I can say is, "I'm glad I don't have kids!" What kind of place would they grow up in?

    Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. All your brains are belong to us.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new...

    George Bush had this surgery done years ago. The only question that remains is who has the controls!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A stunning achievment for the Chinese

    Now... If you can only teach them to drive!

  12. Trevor


    "George Bush had this surgery done years ago. The only question that remains is who has the controls!"

    Georgie Boy only thinks he can fly. Unfortunately the operation was a failure and they lost the controls in 1998

  13. jonathan

    Typical scientists

    Like all scientists around the world, this bunch dont care much for life. They are renowned for eating, butchering, probing anything that moves or swims; in particular, they love hurting inoccent, hungry creatures that share this earth with us (at their peril).

    Scientists do this sort of experimentation in the name of research and for the good of humanity; but, they don't appear to have any objective or goal in mind for their mindless experimentation, arguing instead that killing thousands and even millions of creatures is worth it, just to save one human child! I ask you, what sort of hogwash is that?

    There are thousands today who suffer all around the world because of lack of water, food and clothing - this is where the money and research should be spent, and not on fat research budgets that line the jackets of the greedy and cruel!

    Finally, because these guys/gals hack me off - I just wish some alien race would land on Earth, preferably in their back yard, and stick pieces of metal in their brains. What we would have then is walking, talking robotic scientists - and that would be interesting indeed!!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's just disgusting. Pigeons have rights too, well that sounds silly, but they are living animals and who are we to use them as remote controlled cars?

    Remote controlled dogs will replace these silly robotic dogs that parents buy children. Then we'll change were birds migrate because it doesn't suit us and evenually we'll control the poor and homeless to live in small colonies so that they won't bother us. The government will decide that people need to be controlled because we're obviously not capible of deciding stuff ourselves.... They'll start planting in micro chips at birth to start controlling us then some idiot will become a powerful leader and controll people to kill other people.

    No one has the right to controll any living thing like that. It's nasty.

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