Skip to comments.Senator Says Nuts to SDSU (San Diego State University) "RoboSquirrel" Study
Posted on 10/24/2012 3:16:34 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
Senator says nuts to SDSU 'RoboSquirrel' study
- The 'Robosquirrel' developed by San Diego State and UC Davis can move its tail to mimic the behavior of a real animal. UC Davis
A San Diego State University research project involving robotic squirrels has been placed on Sen. Tom Coburn's annual list of wasteful government spending, a move the campus says is unfair and misleading.
Coburn, R-Okla., issued the list last week, criticizing everything from the use of food stamps to purchase fast food to a subsidy for a struggling ferry business in Alaska.
The list also is critical of the National Science Foundation for allowing SDSU and its collaborators at UC Davis to use public money to develop and use robotic squirrels to study animal behavior. Researchers created several versions of the "RoboSquirrel," which has a remote-controlled tail to make it more lifelike in the eyes of snakes, a key predator.
Coburn's "Wastebook 2012" says that, "During these difficult fiscal times of massive deficits, paying $325,000 for a robot squirrel seems a bit squirrelly."
The "RoboSquirrel" stirred lots of media attention last week, partly because there is a YouTube video showing the robot being attacked by a snake.
SDSU biologist Rulon Clark, the project's local leader, said, "We did not spend $300,000 on a robotic squirrel. And our study is a basic science project in which we're trying to understand the relationship between predator and prey. This kind of study is common in animal behavior research."
The scientists spent about $14,000 of the grant to design, create and modify several versions of ''RoboSquirrel," which contains a coil that allows researchers to heat up the fake animal's tail. Scientists say that Northern Pacific rattlesnakes can detect such heat changes.
(Excerpt) Read more at utsandiego.com ...
The original plan was to develop a cyborg squirrel that doesn’t
poop to replace real squirrels that do. The project has been halted
because it was discovered that nobody has, in fact, produced
evidence that real squirrels actually do poop.
I’m with the SDSU researchers on this. It’s grossly misleading to imply that all the money was spent on the robo squirrel itself.
SDSU and nuts go together well
Go ahead and scoff, but one day. Not today, probably not tomorrow and likely not for another 6 or 7 centuries, but one day the ability to mimic a squirrels tail waggle will have REAL WORLD applications!
You’ll .... well, no, not you, you’ll be dead, but your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandkids will see!
And then SDSU will have had the last laugh!
I’m with Coburn on this. In an era of $16 trillion in debt, we can’t afford to waste money on garbage like this. If this is so important to humanity, money can be found in the private sector.
We need to start cutting somewhere, or else we will end up killing off the private sector that is forced to fund this crap.
Frankly, I don’t care whether its millions to Solyndra or a robosquirrel, when I’m working 60 hours a week to make ends meet, its time to make some changes in the way DC hands out money!
If the Robo-squirrel technology is so desparately wanted and needed, gather those intertested and take up a collection. As for me, I don’t want my tax dollars spent so foolishly.
I really wish so many people on FR were not so short sighted.
Who here would NOT want a robo-squirrel for battle field recon work ????
To be soon replaced with a research project on a TSA robot flying squirrel domestic surveillance drone.
You are definitely onto something here ...
Squirrels don’t poop ... they only create flatulence. Squirrel flatulence causes global warming. SDSU creates robot squirrels to replace bio-carbon squirrels ... no more global warming.
I like it.
I live in the Sierra Nevada foothills at the 3,000 ft
elevation with 360 degrees worth of ponderosa pines,
douglas firs, and big white oaks encircling my house.
Needless to say tree (gray) squirrels abound. I even
feed peanuts to the little vermin. But never...never
have I ever seen squirrel crap. Not under trees, in
the yard, nor on tree limbs.
Squirrel sh*t is a lot like honest Democrat
politicians......impossible to find although