Chinese scientists command pigeons via remote control


Feb 27, 2007

BEIJING, China (Reuters) -- Scientists in eastern China say they have succeeded in controlling the flight of pigeons with micro electrodes planted in their brains, state media reported on Tuesday.

Scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Centre at Shandong University of Science and Technology said their electrodes could command them to fly right or left or up or down, Xinhua news agency said.

"The implants stimulate different areas of the pigeon's brain, according to signals sent by the scientists via computer and force the bird to comply with their commands," Xinhua said.

"It's the first such successful experiment on a pigeon in the world," Xinhua quoted the center's chief scientist, Su Xuecheng, as saying.

Su and his colleagues, who Xinhua said had had similar success with mice in 2005, were improving the devices used in the experiment and hoped that the technology could be put into practical use in future.

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