Organic AEV's - minus the bombs.
December 6, 2004 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Remember the threads last week about R/C planes with digital cameras? Rank amateurs. Animal Planet has upped the stakes in the unmanned aerial vehicle race by strapping a video camera to an eagle. That's right, an eagle. It's incredible. Check out the dogfight in particular. They're also doing a bunch of other cool things with animals and technology.
posted by loquax (28 comments total)

 
wov. wov. wov.

Next step must be a literal "fly on the wall" -camera...

wov.
posted by hoskala at 10:26 AM on December 6, 2004


That's pretty incredible, but it seemed to me that Tilly was on the defensive in that fight with the buzzard, not the attacker. Also, she was probably getting attacked because the other birds thought she looked like a dork with that camera attached to her back.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:30 AM on December 6, 2004


That is so damn cool. Thanks, loquax!

*eagerly awaits hummer-cam*
posted by DakotaPaul at 10:43 AM on December 6, 2004


Its pretty awesome. But as awesome as that is, I can't help but feel underwhelmed by the "dogfight". I find that with most educational things (and i probably should put that word in quotes as well), they make you think you're going to see something TOTALLY AWESOMEKICKASS and then its super lame. I mean, Tilly really didn't even get to really fight the buzzard.

Another example, there was supposed to be a Ninja demonstration at the American History Museum over the summer, and my friend and I were AMPED to see it (because, after all... Ninjas have real ultimate power) and we looked forward to it ALL DAY, and then we got there, and it was a couple of dudes talking about some elementary school BS with cardboard swords and stars. Not that i was expecting them to start cutting people's heads off or anything, but i thought they would at least DEMONSTRATE something all Ninja like... knamean? Educational materials underwhelm time and time again!
posted by indiebass at 10:52 AM on December 6, 2004


Roc!
posted by sciurus at 10:55 AM on December 6, 2004


Stunning. I would probably watch that for hours if they had the footage.
posted by gwint at 10:56 AM on December 6, 2004


eagles with frickin cameras on their heads!
posted by jba at 10:57 AM on December 6, 2004


That's beautiful - thanks, loquax!
posted by carter at 11:21 AM on December 6, 2004


gwint, you might be interested in Winged Migration, available at Netflix.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:22 AM on December 6, 2004


yeah, mb, I *loved* Winged Migration. Also Microcosmos by the same producers, I believe. Hell, I even got hooked on the MIT Hawk nest cam (can't find the MeFi link for some reason) from a few months back.
posted by gwint at 11:29 AM on December 6, 2004


I loved seeing how the wing worked, and how similar it is to a plane.
posted by Orange Goblin at 11:38 AM on December 6, 2004


amazing!
posted by tiamat at 11:40 AM on December 6, 2004


I find that with most educational things (and i probably should put that word in quotes as well), they make you think you're going to see something TOTALLY AWESOMEKICKASS and then its super lame.

I know exactly what you mean. A lot of people who set up these kinds of educational demonstrations are well-meaning, but haven't a clue how to be entertaining. An exception to this is the Boston Science Center/Museum. Their shows and demonstrations are exceptional. The lightning room show is very entertaining and educational. I also attended a show devoted to liquid nitrogen, which was entirely hands-on and included a lot of audience participation. If a 12-year old girl trying to eat a -60F marshmallow isn't entertaining, I don't know what is. So, if you haven't given up on these kinds of things, plan a visit, you won't be disappointed.
posted by odinsdream at 11:43 AM on December 6, 2004


Good stuff!

National Geo has been strapping cameras to various creatures for years- they called it Crittercam and I happened to write the music to the first documentary they did on this subject many years ago. The one I remember the most was about the seals. It was like a disney ride- a dizzy vertiginous plunge through the Antarctic ocean.
posted by kamus at 11:57 AM on December 6, 2004


Kamus - those videos are great too. Something about this just blows me away. It's like the closest we'll ever get to seeing an animal's thought process from their perspective, as opposed to just observing them from afar, or under lab and zoo conditions.
posted by loquax at 12:08 PM on December 6, 2004


awesome, thanks
posted by evening at 12:17 PM on December 6, 2004


I loved seeing how the wing worked, and how similar it is to a plane.

You mean, how similar the plane is to it ? Pretty sure birds came first :)
posted by reflection at 12:47 PM on December 6, 2004


I enjoyed seeing the eagle during the "dogfight," especially the movement of his head.
posted by crazy finger at 12:55 PM on December 6, 2004


This reminded me of all those hang-gliding videos I used to see on PBS as a kid. Helmet-cam and the like.

Except there were no pudgy little white people jerking around on rickety-looking equipment before landing in a bush.

AWESOME.
posted by scarabic at 12:58 PM on December 6, 2004


I loved seeing how the wing worked, and how similar it is to a plane.

You mean, how similar the plane is to it ? Pretty sure birds came first :)


Well, they are similar to each other, regardless of who came first...
posted by Orange Goblin at 1:29 PM on December 6, 2004


That was awesome.
posted by clubfoote at 1:50 PM on December 6, 2004


I actually worked on this show-- it's a BBC show that we recut for Animal Planet. Y'know, sexed it up a bit, and cut out most of the original host for a faceless announcer without a Brit accent. It's still a pretty fun show, though.
posted by mboszko at 3:37 PM on December 6, 2004


I seem to remember the BBC doing exactly this with Canada Geese (I think) about 10 years ago...
posted by influx at 4:18 PM on December 6, 2004


People with a big warm fuzzy for Winged Migration should avoid the "making of" special features, which really make it clear how heavy a hand the filmmakers used to get the footage.
posted by NortonDC at 5:34 PM on December 6, 2004


Now I know how Gandalf felt! AWEsome!
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:35 PM on December 6, 2004


Reminds me of David Letterman's Monkey Cam!

Here are some more videos made by attaching cameras to animals. (My favorite is the armadillo. [QT])
posted by fandango_matt at 7:15 PM on December 6, 2004


That is eagle is hot!

Where is the paypal button so I can buy it some presents?
posted by srboisvert at 8:58 AM on December 7, 2004


Great stuff.

Check out what the human animals have been up to with their Helmet Cams. I'm still editing my footage.
posted by geologic time includes now at 1:24 PM on December 7, 2004


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