Distance is no longer an issue when it comes to taking care and even saving the life of your pet bird! A new invention created by Boys Town Jerusalem's 8th graders, allows you to easily see and talk to your pet birds, regardless of your location.
This prototype for a “smart cage” is the brainchild of a 10-man team of robotics enthusiasts, age 14, from the Boys Town Jerusalem Junior High in Jerusalem, Israel. Harnessing hi-tech resources, the boys aimed to help bird owners “be there” for their pets, even if they’re half a world away. The result: a streamlined birdcage with a camera attached, easily accessed by cellphone from across the city or even the globe. Not only does this enable the owner to see and talk to their favorite canary or parrot, but also to tend to the bird’s needs by remote. With a touch of your pre-programmed cellphone keyboard, you can carry out a range of functions, including adjusting the cage temperature based on data automatically dispatched to the phone.
"We voted unanimously to create a device to improve pet birds’ physical and emotional health.”
Most critical, there’s a special lifesaving device built into the Smart Cage. Still fresh in the student creators’ minds was the plight of many pets trapped in burning homes during the devastating fires that swept Israel several months ago. To prevent such tragedies, the Smart Cage includes a smoke detector programmed to instantly dispatch an alert to the owner’s cellphone in the event of smoke. If needed, a sensor will automatically open the cage door and set the bird free.
The stimulus for devising, programming and building the Smart Cage was the entry of Boys Town Jerusalem Robotics Team in the FLL (“FIRST Lego League”) Robotics Competition. One of the required missions was to formulate a research project to solve a real-world need, in this case related to the 2017 contest’s theme of “Animal Allies.”
“The Smart Cage requires only a simple application for the owner’s cellphone, and wifi for the camera and its microphone to operate.”
“In brainstorming about a project to help a particular animal, we felt that there was less awareness towards the needs of canaries and parrots than those of cats and dogs,” explained Orel Ofner, one of the team’s three 11th grade mentors. “So we voted unanimously to create a device to improve pet birds’ physical and emotional health.” Indeed, when the students combed the Internet, they found nothing similar to their Smart Cage appears to exist.
“The cage is powered by a ‘smart card’ programmed to activate the various functions,” explains Shmuel Azoulay, 14, who was responsible for wiring the project’s electronics. “The Smart Cage requires only a simple application for the owner’s cellphone, and wifi for the camera and its microphone to operate.”
“It was exciting to use technology to provide solutions.”
“Working on this project really gave us a new appreciation for the well-being and the safety of pet birds,” adds mentor Orel Ofner. “It was exciting to use technology to provide solutions.”
With Boys Town Jerusalem’s team at work, tomorrow’s innovations will soon be flying high.