Using a chicken as a steadicam

This has been circulating around the net for a bit. For those that haven’t seen it, let me just give you a quick rundown of what is happening. This guy strapped a camera to a chicken’s head. No really, that’s it. There’s some interesting science behind it though. He’s taking advantage of the Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex in the chicken.  It is basically the reflex that we use to keep our eyes firmly focused on something while our head is moving. In a chicken however, they move their entire head. This means that he can strap a camera to the chicken’s head and have an instant steadicam. At least that is the theory. As you can see in the video after the break, the harder part is getting the chicken to look at what you want it to look at. We also found a conversation about it with the creator,[MrPennywhistle] in some reddit comments.

Comments

  1. yetihehe says:

    He should use a better chicken, probably those russian chickens are more calm ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXUeO3auRZg

  2. DanAdamKOF says:

    This is awesome and a bid absurd, I am cracking up here.

  3. Sean T. says:

    LOLz! PETA is going to have a fit when they see this!

    It is a cool homebrew experiment. Kudos.

  4. SS says:

    @ yetihehe
    Amazing! Really funny video and pretty steady :)

  5. jim says:

    Genius

  6. jeditalian says:

    lol in the awkward silence, i knew the chicken was gonna do that, but i LoL’d hardcore for just waking up

  7. Lol he hacked at chicken? xD

  8. ChrisE says:

    LOL! Very clever. What’s up with the safety glasses? I’m sure the chicken won’t attack him.

  9. knuckles904 says:

    Lol, awesome vid. When does chicken hacks get a tag on the right side?

  10. Tom says:

    Im going to do that with my Rooster LOL

  11. BiOzZ says:

    ahhhh yes the ol’ chicken method :)

    i believe this is how jaws was shot

    @knuckles904
    IDK we have more than enough chicken hacks XD http://hackaday.com/?s=Chicken

  12. Mike Szczys says:

    Anyone else think of The Flintstones when they saw this?

  13. nes says:

    Question is, what hardware must that chicken be packing to do this? I reckon on at least a couple of three way gyros in its head and a whole bunch of servos in the neck. Maybe some fancy image object tracking by its eyes. Geez that thing must have cost a fortune. :)

  14. Tod says:

    Finally! I’ve been wondering what to do with this chicken on my workbench… now I have an idea to work with.

    Maybe a new HackAFarmAnimal.com site will be up soon! lol.

    Yeah, this is great.

  15. Branno says:

    @BiOZZ

    Wow, there are a lot of chicken hacks here. Never noticed that before. I guess now it is time to add a chicken category.

  16. Sariel says:

    I totally called the poop!

  17. arjan says:

    LOL! “My wife’s gonna kill me”. cool. I bet servo’s can do this too…

  18. macegr says:

    Mike: “BAAAWCK! It’s a living!”

  19. Zmaster says:

    ROTFL

  20. wilfite says:

    PETA? You mean People for the Eating of Tasty Animals? Can’t see why they’re have a problem with it…

  21. zool says:

    was liking this untill i saw the unnecessary psalm

  22. truthspew says:

    Had me right up to the biblical quotation. Wrecked a perfectly good Chicken Steady Cam video.

  23. FaSMaB says:

    @Tod , you’ve still got yours, I’ve ate mine a long time ago…

  24. Fallen says:

    Impressive!

  25. Tom says:

    Great!
    Now we just need layada to reverse engineer it and sell it as a kit!

  26. M4CGYV3R says:

    Possibly the weirdest thing I’ve seen on HAD.

  27. Life2Death says:

    Sorry, but Cats do the same thing if you’ve ever picked one up and moved it up and down.

  28. Charper says:

    I love how at around 1:50 the chicken keeps eyeing the microwave… It’s like he knows.

  29. Ekaj says:

    OH MY GOD.

    I love this project. My mom has dozens of chickens, I’ll put a few of the extras up on eBay if there are any takers. I’m sure they’d survive FedEx overnight ;)

  30. 1000100 1000001 1010110 1000101 says:

    LMFAO

  31. kyoorius says:

    next up… the chicken controlled segway.

  32. Hirudinea says:

    When I heard they put a camera on a cock I had a WHOLE different idea! Anyway chickens can see in ultraviolet so if you want to get the chicken to focus on somthing why not point a flashing ultraviolet light at it?

  33. qwerty says:

    “I’m Chicken of Borg, your photons will be assimilated!”.

    By the way, someone please send a dozen of these camera equipped chickens to movie producers, should they insist in using those stupid puke-inducing shaky cameras.

  34. Wolf says:

    lol, lost it at “this version 2.0.. a much bigger chicken”

  35. Rachel says:

    @nes
    Chickens have a three axis gyroscope and a two axis accelerometer in each ear. Humans, too. I noticed this phenomenon back when I raised chickens, but I never thought to strap a camera to its head. I wonder how well it would work with a decent quality camera.

  36. Allen Yu says:

    I wonder if the reflex still works if you hypnotize the chicken.

  37. cron says:

    @Rachel: We’re gonna need a bigger chicken.

  38. matt says:

    good use of off-the-shell technology

  39. Olivier says:

    @Hirudinea: there’s also that on some “special” websites…

  40. moshguy says:

    The video was interesting but the bloopers made it worth the time.

  41. me says:

    I’m using the chicken to measure it.

  42. Trollicus says:

    They could have used this for the Blair witch project, but they couldn’t afford the chicken.

    P.S the chicken has now joined the International Cinematographers Guild and must be paid prevailing wage not chicken feed.

  43. nes says:

    @Rachel: Actually the webcam units built into laptop screens are pretty tiny and lightweight and usually give you around 1.3M pixels – enough for an HD movie, albeit fixed focus and lowish sensitivity. It would probably work ok outside.

    The interface is HiSpeed USB2.0, so you’d need to strap a tiny PC to the chicken’s back to make it work though or find a really big chicken or an ostrich.

  44. Drake says:

    Im Going to get a 5 piece chicken nugget meal to try this now … and to eat.

  45. Ekaj says:

    @Drake
    Sorry, pal. I’m pretty sure that they carefully remove the accelerometers and gyros when they do the chicken -> nugget conversion.

  46. dude says:

    was somebody up late watching robot chicken?

  47. DrDoug says:

    what are you doing walking out of a room marked ‘children’ with a rooster in your hands!

  48. Frank says:

    @Charper “I love how at around 1:50 the chicken keeps eyeing the microwave… It’s like he knows.”

    Ha!

    Congrats, you win my innernets award for the day :)

  49. Koro says:

    @nes,
    You’re right about laptop built in webcams being lightweight, but at their best they can provide 1280×1024, which is insufficient for HD quality, not mentioning poor optics.

  50. colecoman1982 says:

    Eh, it’s a living…

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