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Man builds car for pet parrot

Jan. 16, 2013 at 3:40 PM

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A Florida computer engineering student said he built a small, robotic car for his parrot so the pet bird could get around the house easily.

Andrew Gray, 29, a graduate student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, said he tried several methods of keeping his African grey parrot, Pepper, from squawking all the time and eventually realized the bird, which he has had for 10 to 11 years, just wanted to be around people, ABC News reported Wednesday.

"I realized the bird needed to be around people constantly. He just needed to be in the same room," Gray said. "So I built the Bird Buggy."

Gray said Pepper steers the robotic car with his beak.

"He knows how to drive, forwards, backwards, left and right," Gray said. "He loves his new toy."

He said the car had sensors to make sure Pepper doesn't crash.

Gray said the Bird Buggy has been effective in keeping Pepper's squawking spells under control and may have other benefits in the future.

"It was just an experiment that will maybe get me a job down the road," Gray said.

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