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Some photographs of Project Pigeon. This was a project…

Some photographs of Project Pigeon.

This was a project undertaken during World War II. Behavioural Psychologist B.F. Skinner attempted to develop a missile guidance system controlled by pigeons.

Three pigeons, inserted in the compartments of the nose-cone pictured above, were to be trained to recognize a target and peck on the inner surface of the lens in front of them. As long as the pecks were centred, the missile would fly straight; if the missile’s course were to veer off-target, the off-centre pecks would alter trajectory and bring the missile back on course.

The project was cancelled in 1944. “Our problem”, said Skinner, “was no one would take us seriously.”

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