Posted by on Oct 9, 2013 in |

The CyBirds consist of three custom-built quadcopter-based flying machines or “drones”, equipped with communication and sensing equipment, a central PC-based control station, and a radio modem communication system to avoid wi-fi signal saturation in the public areas where the birds reside. Referencing their “perches” which dually serve as landmarks and as docking stations, localisation and trajectory mapping data will be stored and progressively enriched to give rise to increasingly autonomous behaviours. Early exploratory navigation patterns will thus develop into more sophisticated behaviours as the creatures become familiar with their environment. As well as through their actual flight paths, the CyBirds will express themselves via affordances that use smart materials (e.g. shape memory alloys and electro-active polymers), allowing them to display coloured light, sound, and characteristic movements of their body parts. Designed to live in large lobby areas where their perches can be installed and observed at multiple levels, these birds offer a creative vision of the technological falconry that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are opening up. Visitors interacting with the Cybirds via a mobile device app and Augmented Reality markers will experience a new kind of exotic bird watching, in the cyberzoos of ambient public space.