The Official Crowbox Kit is a Do-It-Yourself science kit for researchers, enthusiasts, and those curious with engaging with wild birds. What started as a prototype and research focus for artist and hacker Joshua Klein (who later went on to give a TED talk on the subject), lead to interest from a growing community who wanted to own a kit of their own.
Following Josh's original design, The Official Crowbox Kit trains crows to collect coins in exchange for peanuts. The intent is not for the user to make a financial profit, but instead experiment and engage with the natural world in a productive way. As Josh Klein puts it, "what if we can form productive relationships with these intelligent animals (like training them to collect coins or pickup trash around sports arenas) instead of treating them like nuisances?"
Tomorrow Lab prototyped and designed the kit to be made from laser-cut parts and hardware available from online sources. A custom shield was designed for Arduino, the Open Source Hardware platform. Software was written for the Arduino platform so that others could edit and improve the software to make improvements and modifications. Full PDF assembly guides were created for both the housing and the electronics.
All parts and software are available as a kit for purchase on http://thecrowbox.com. At the same website, you can also download the Arudino Code, the Parts List, and the Laser Cut files to make your own. This project is Open Source: others are encouraged to make or buy their own kit, then suggest improvements or modifications as they use the kit. Together, we can find ways to form productive relationships with wild creatures.
Housing Assembly Guide PDF
Lasercut EPS files