The Starling Bird Bot


The Starling Bird Bot

Designer/artist: African Robots, Cape Town / Harare

Year: 2016

Description: This bird bot prototype is a mechanical starling, imitating a common urban bird in Cape Town. Running on a Nokia phone battery, it incorporates a sound-synthesizer whose pitch depends on light exposure, glowing LED eyes, and head and wing movement via a hacked motor.

About the designer: African Robots is an art and technology project based in South Africa which creates interactive electronic street art - ‘street art’ here means art sold by local craftsmen in South Africa and Zimbabwe, using inexpensive materials like electrical wire, beads and waste wood. African Robots lead by artist Ralph Borland works with artisans, sharing skills to catalyse innovation.

Image credit: Starling, by Ralph Borland 2016