Ducklings Raised By Remote

We’re not sure that it’s absolutely necessary to raise ducks using a remote-control animatronic duck decoy, but people have stranger hobbies.

This YouTube video (embedded below) from [Imaginative Guy] chronicles an impressive feat of RC animatronics, sparing no effort to make the RC duck “parents” realistic. There’s a ton of detail in the videos, from the machining of small necessary bits to the liberal application of hot glue where necessary.

We especially like the duck’s vocal-tract simulation: a speaker glued to the neck of a soda bottle makes (to our human ears) a very accurate duck sound. Cutting up RC helicopter blades to make a rudder is a pretty nice hack as well. There’s a lot to learn here. You know, for when you need to make a robot duck.

Naturally, this is not the first time that anyone’s strapped a remote-controlled submarine on a duck decoy. But it’s definitely the most refined that we’ve seen yet.

22 thoughts on “Ducklings Raised By Remote

      1. Pretty much. This plan is much better than hand-raising them, if they’re to be released into the wild. However, these ducklings will forever think real ducks are just a little bit too animated (or maybe they will be extra likely to fall for a hunter’s decoy).

      2. There was a nice local news story where I live last year about a farming couple who were keeping ducks. The ducklings hatched and couldn’t be found, the presumption being the cat had got them.

        As it turns out it was a double whammy, the cat had given birth around the same time and had seem some small furry things wandering around with the kittens and assumed they were more kittens.

        Upshot of the whole thing, the cat adopted the ducklings and they in turn assumed the cat was mommy.

  1. This is brilliant!! I feel slightly uneasy that those poor ducks will never have a real mother and it feels like playing god, But they don’t know any better an their robot overlord mother does a great job. So I have mixed feelings. The build quality is great even with all that hot glue. I just hope they get taught everything they need to survive on their own.

    1. Almost exactly my feelings on the hack! I hesitated to post it b/c of the playing god aspect, which creeped me out a little bit.

      But then I looked at all the other remote-duck applications, and noticed that they were all about shooting ducks dead. So in the overall scheme of things, this one’s pretty harmless. And it _is_ a cool hack.

      1. I am glad you posted it, as it is a great hack and I don’t think the ducks can tell. I hope this can be put to other uses like helping endangered birds etc.

        creepy but with good intentions :D

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