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Bird-brained Chinese scientists learn to fly pigeons
February 27, 2007 / 4:34 AM / in 11 years

Bird-brained Chinese scientists learn to fly pigeons

BEIJING (Reuters) - Scientists in eastern China say they have succeeded in controlling the flight of pigeons with micro electrodes planted in their brains, state media reported on Tuesday.

<p>Pigeons gather on the rooftop of a building at sunset in Guangzhou April 3, 2004. Scientists in eastern China say they have succeeded in controlling the flight of pigeons with micro electrodes planted in their brains, state media reported on Tuesday. REUTERS/China Photos</p>

Scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Centre at Shandong University of Science and Technology said ther electrodes could command them to fly right or left or up or down, Xinhua news agency said.

“The implants stimulate different areas of the pigeon’s brain according to signals sent by the scientists via computer, and force the bird to comply with their commands,” Xinhua said.

“It’s the first such successful experiment on a pigeon in the world,” Xinhua quoted the centre’s chief scientist, Su Xuecheng, as saying.

Su and his colleagues, who Xinhua said had had similar success with mice in 2005, were improving the devices used in the experiment and hoped that the technology could be put into practical use in future.

The report did not specify what practical uses the scientists saw for the remote-controlled pigeons.

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