Royal Institute Science Fun Day
21 February

What happens when you cross some electronics with a few BHWT hens and an institute famous for its Christmas lectures? Answer, the ‘Spark Will Fly’ Royal Institute Science Fun Day where Perry Childs, aka Robot-Chicken, demonstrated his ‘Hacked Chicken Coop’ with 3 of his best and well behaved re-homed chickens.

For those who are not sure what ‘Hacked’ means it is the you use of objects for other purposes. In this case Perry had adapted an electric screwdriver, an old fashioned bobbin, some pieces of wood and an Arduino micro-controller to provide a mechanism that opens and shuts the chicken coop door to stop foxes from getting to his lovely ladies.  The clever bit is that he can control when the ladies are let out.  Also he doesn’t have to worry if he has closed the coop door at night as it automatically closes an hour after dusk.

Over 1,000 parents and children attended the day and the site of real live hens including a robot chicken drew the crowds to find out more about the Coop and the work of the BHWT. Hopefully many people went away a little wiser and keener to re-house some BHWT hens in their own ‘Hacked Coop’!

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