We’ve all been there. Pigeons are generally pretty innocuous, but they do leave a mess. If you have a convertible or a bicycle or even just a clean car, you probably don’t want them hanging around. [Max] was tired of a messy balcony, so like you might approach any engineering problem, he worked his way through several possible solutions. Starting with plastic crows, and naturally ending with an automated water gun.
The resulting robotic water gun that targets pigeons with openCV is a dandy project and while we don’t usually advocate shooting at neighborhood animals, we don’t think a little water will be any worse than the rain for the pigeons. The build started with a cheap electric water pistol. A Wemos D1 Mini ESP8266 development board provides the brainpower. The water pistol wouldn’t easily take rechargeable batteries, plus it is a good idea to separate the logic supply and the pump motors, so the D1 gets power from a USB power bank separate from the gun’s batteries.
That leaves the camera. An old iPhone 6S with a 3D printed bracket feeds video to a Python script that uses openCV. If looks for changes using a very particular algorithm to detect that something is moving and fires the gun. It doesn’t appear that it actually tracks the pigeons, so maybe that’s a thought for version 2.
Was it successful? Maybe, but it does seem like the pigeons learned to avoid it. We still think azimuth and elevation on the gun would help.
Most of the time when we see pigeon hacking it is to use them for nefarious purposes. [Max] should be glad he doesn’t have to deal with lions.
36 thoughts on “Engineering Vs Pigeons”
I always wondered how to blow up pigeons like in the movie, they are so irritating.
I fear this kind of attack on pigeons will only provoke an arms race. Before long, we will find that the pigeons group together and become organised, deploying their own superior Ai which then evolves into general Ai and then ….. BOOM …. pigeons have taken over the whole planet … and beyond.
well, they did have a knack for guiding missiles..
Though you also have to worry about them developing a warrior cult and going all kamikaze on you….
And of course pigeons would call it …. Skynet :-)
One word: space lasers!
Yeah but Cows Have Guns!
Will be a vast improvement over the current direction.
Was looking for something to deter cats from coming in our garden, this looks very interesting. Could be combined with the software that identifies cats for the smart cat flap maybe…
Maybe the Cats could help with the pigeons?
They have motion sensor sprinklers for this, not as fun to buy something but at least you won’t have to hook up an iphone and batteries outside in the dirt
This is a few years old now, but is well-documented and will give you a good place to start: http://www.norris.org.au/cattack/
Maybe he’ll do in a squirrel or two after… dealing with the pigeons.
No Tom Lehrer fans here tonight? Philistines!
Sorry, it’s against my religion.
But there’s one thing
That makes spring complete for me
And makes every Sunday
A treat for me
Moving my electric shutters causes the pigeons to fly away from my windowsills, so I’ve thought about making something that detects the sound they make and moves the shutters a bit.
Great project ! It remembers me the same project I came up with three years ago. The only difference was the use of a Rasperry Pi + Camera and a neural stick for the detection. I wrote a program that trigerred an eletric water pistol when a bird was detected. Was quite fun to build, but unfortunately the pigeons were rapidly get used to it and I even suspected them to come for a free shot of fresh water ;))
Wanting to know whats “old” about an iphone 6s ?
2015 was the other side of 2020/21 so it’s like 35 years ago now.
That model is EOL as per the manufacturer, so it’s old regardless of how much time has passed since its release. That’s not a problem with the article, it’s a problem with Apple not letting people install their own OS on an EOL portable computer.
Came here to ask same thing.
My daughter is still uaing her 6S, works just fine.
I did something very similar. Used the same water gun, removed the batteries, replaced the trigger with a light-beam break sensor. I use it to keep cats away from restricted areas. Got all the parts on Amazon. I have a picture, but looks like you can’t post pictures here 🙄
This is the Austrailian solution for an active seagull deterrent…
Where i live you see a lot of kites being used, the kite looks like a hawk and it moves around in the wind. Seems to work very well; https://www.makesafe.eu/products/birdshield-kites/
For a window ledge I guess you need trained ferrets…. or untrained ferrets if the blood and gore won’t upset you.
I am guessing this simple cat sprayer which HAD featured in 2018 would also work: https://hackaday.com/2018/03/04/no-cat-this-is-not-the-litter-box/
Isnt this just a very complicated bird bath?
Your just lucky you don’t have sulphur crested cockatoos.
Radomes, coax, powerline, houses destroyed.
The link is to a 4 page pdf that offers suggestions about how to reduce their damage.
The link doesn’t work for me.
I hear St Olga’s sulphur legged sparrows are pretty harsh to have around too.
I made something exactly like this using a reservoir and a wyze webcam.
I called it the PP gun. The pigeon perturbed.
If you’re having a surfeit of pigeons though, run a network diagnostic on your IPoAC backhaul in case someone has hacked it to packet flood you.
I think I might modify this to keep neighborhood cats off my garden – especially at this time of year when they come and dig up my seed-beds to do their ‘business’.
Birds aren`t real :)
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