CONE Sutro Forest is a new telerobotic birdwatching project from UC Berkeley's Ken Goldberg, Texas A&M's Dezhen Song, and their collaborators. An ultra-high resolution telerobotic camera is mounted outside the home of craigslist founder Craig Newmark, whose balcony overlooks San Francisco's Sutro Forest. The public is invited to log on to collaboratively control the "robotic observatory," take photos, and identify birds. This particular CONE (Collaborative Observatory for Natural Environments) is related to Goldberg and Song's efforts to bring robotic cameras to bear on the search for the legendary Ivory-billed woodpecker. According to Goldberg, the latest massively multiplayer online game is… birdwatching. From Wired News:
"We believe in citizen science," Goldberg said. "You'll care about the environment if you can experience it. A lot of people are never going to get out to Alaska or Antarctica. For a lot of people it's not really feasible for them even to get out into the woods."
Goldberg hopes to place future cameras in more exotic locales to observe bears Yosemite, polar bears in the Artic, mating penguins in Antarctica, gorillas in Rwanda and even whales using an underwater system.
Previously on BB: