In Brief

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... the best of both!

In early 2015, quite a few house cats and birds of prey are going to be driven completely insane: a crowd-funding campaign is now shipping out sturdy, lifelike, robotic birds in time for the holidays, and studies have shown them to be irresistible to — and unbeatable by — small predators.

Edwin Van Ruymbeke, a French aeronautics engineer, has successfully taken his first step toward his dream of making “a robotic bird that could soar like an eagle and film what it sees:” he recently launched his prototype of the Bionic Bird on Indiegogo, and is quickly gathering support for the project. The aims of the campaign, his team explains, are to finalize production of the new model, develop new versions (which will include options for stationary flight and on-board, streaming HD cameras), and develop piloting control via a connected wrist band, allowing for “natural and intuitive gestures.”

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