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Chinese develop remote-controlled pigeons

A flying world first

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Chinese scientists have pulled off what they claim is a world first: controlling pigeons via brain-implanted "micro electrodes", Reuters reports.

Xinhua news agency explained today that boffins at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Center at Shandong University of Science and Technology were able to "command [the pigeons] to fly right or left or up or down. It elaborated: "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."

The centre's lead scientist, Su Xuecheng, proudly declared: "It's the first such successful experiment on a pigeon in the world."

Xinhua added that Su's team had already successfully experimented with remote-controlled mice, and "hoped that the technology could be put into practical use in future". Sadly, the report "did not specify what practical uses the scientists saw for the remote-controlled pigeons", Reuters notes. ®

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