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Militarizing Your Backyard With Python and AI 112 112

mikejuk writes "Kurt Grandis took some cutting edge and open source AI tools, Python, an Arduino and a SuperSoaker and built the (almost) perfect squirrel hosing machine. The project involved Open Computer Vision (OpenCV), an a SVM learning procedure that he trained to tell the difference between a squirrel and a non-squirrel. After 'perfecting' the classifier the hardware came next — a SuperSoaker Mark I was used as the 'water cannon.' A pair of servos were used to aim the gun and a third to pull the trigger."
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Militarizing Your Backyard With Python and AI

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  • Re:PITA Time? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @02:58PM (#39461821)

    Now watch PITA call animal cruelty on this dude.

    I don't know where this dude lives, but here in Washington state the Eastern Gray squirrel is an invasive non-native species, even though they're pretty much everywhere. They've largely displaced our native squirrel population. In most places you can kill them without problem - you're doing the local ecology a favor, after all - although it's always possible some wacko fringe element will protest the killing. I don't know about locales like Seattle, though; I wouldn't put it past them to have laws against killing animals considered "cute".

    Anyway if this guy gets dinged, maybe he just needs to replace the Super Soaker with a .12 gauge...

  • by CaptBubba (696284) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @03:04PM (#39461873)

    I've had really good luck with a commercial "Squirrel Buster" tube bird feeder which has a spring-suspended cage around the entirety of the tube. They jump on and their fat ass pulls the cage down to where they cannot get the seed. They can see the seed, they can smell the seed, but they cannot eat the seed. They get so pissed off at that thing and it is wonderful.

    Grackles however are an entirely different matter and I'd love to have this water gun setup for them. I imagine a large black bird would be pretty easy to target too.

  • by garyebickford (222422) <gar37bicNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday March 24, 2012 @03:18PM (#39461945)

    Add a little ammonia or cat pee, or methyl mercaptan to the water, or maybe some kind of stuff that gets sticky as it dries, to keep the squirrel occupied for a while. Also, since he's mainly interested in keeping them off the feeder, he could mount the gun next to the feeder and fire it remotely, hitting the squirrel at close range with significantly more force and wetness.

    I had a friend long ago who had trouble with dogs chasing his bicycle on his regular route to work. By adding a very small percentage of ammonia into a squirt gun, he found that if he squirted the dog right in the face, the dogs weren't hurt, but were stopped instantly in their tracks, and went off to occupy themselves with rubbing their noses and eyes with their front paws. It only took about three trials to stop any dog from bike and car chasing. Lemon juice might work as well. (Plain water did not work.)

    If I were more devilish I might suggest nitrogen tri-iodide in the water. I'm not sure that it would work unless in high concentrations, but it might be amusing once it dries on the squirrel - and/or on the roof of the feeder. The experimentalist in me wants to know - purely for the knowledge to be gained, of course!

  • If I were more devilish I might suggest nitrogen tri-iodide in the water. I'm not sure that it would work unless in high concentrations, but it might be amusing once it dries on the squirrel - and/or on the roof of the feeder. The experimentalist in me wants to know - purely for the knowledge to be gained, of course!

    hmmm. have to agree. Nothing like the shocked look on some meathead jock's face when he opened a locker door painted with NI3 in solution [youtube.com]. I saw NI3 demonstrated at a science fair when I was in junior high (during the Nixon administration -- get off my lawn.) Stuff is fucking simple to make, and as long as you keep it in solution, it won't blow up on you. It makes a very loud snapping sound when it detonates, along with a cloud of purplish smoke. We'd paint it on locker doors in the gym and tool chests in the auto shop. Any kind of impact after it dried would detonate it. It was invisible if applied while still in solution, and it took less than 5 seconds after detonation for the residual iodine to sublimate and the residual ammonium iodide to dissolve in our always humid air, so it was practically untraceable. Revenge of the nerds, and better living through chemistry, indeed... :)

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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