PigeonBlog-Will it Fly?
While looking at the website for the upcoming ZeroOne/ISEA2006 I noticed an interesting event called PigeonBlog. The project uses homing pigeons wearing sensing devices that gather information about air pollution.
The birds will be released:
Aug. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12:
in San Jose, as part of the 01 San Jose Festival and ISEA.
in Irvine, as part of TechnoSpheres.
in Newport Beach, as part of Ubicomp.
From the Frequently Asked Questions on their PigeonBlog:
Q: While air pollution is an important topic, is this rough on the birds?
A: No. Our backpacks have been designed not to exceed 10% of a pigeons total body weight (the recommended limit) and we are only flying the birds over short distances. We also observe our birds very closely and they seem to adapt quickly to our device.
It does not seem that the participants conducting this experiment would knowingly harm the pigeons. Nevertheless, the Humane Society is raising an eyebrow. I also heard that the members of PETA are voicing their concerns. The Humane Society is doing its job, but in my opinion PETA is most likely just looking for anything to get in a flap over.