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Creeping Rodent Run

lawn-going roomba hutch
  (+16, -1)(+16, -1)
(+16, -1)
  [vote for,

Nibbles the guinea-pig has a very satisfactory hutch, proven to resist attack by crazy bull-terrier. Its only drawback is lack of space. When you put it on the lawn, he can only get at a couple of square feet of grass.

So, we should embed caterpillar tracks in the bottom of the existing stout wooden frame and add a roomba-like brain. Then, over time, Nibbles can both crop and fertilize the entire lawn more or less evenly.

We'd need to add a ledge for his water bowl.

The tracks would creep very slowly, partly because that's all the obligatory photo-voltaic cells would allow, and partly so as not to spook Nibbles.

I can't quite believe this hasn't already been proposed, but google comes up empty, so here it is.

pertinax, May 14 2007

Budgies for [ye] http://images.googl...Search+Images&gbv=2
[marklar]'s idea really aught to be posted... [theleopard, May 15 2007]

(?) Roomba http://www.roomba.com
...just in case anyone didn't know [pertinax, May 15 2007]

For [21_Quest]: A different solution... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZSU-23-4
...more suited to Fluffy's problem [pertinax, May 15 2007]

The proper work of goldfish... Deadly_20Pond
...which may come as some comfort to [twitch]. [pertinax, May 15 2007]

Pondorama! Pondorama!
The aquatic version. [theleopard, May 16 2007]

classic goldfish-power Roaming_20Goldfish_20Bowl
Rolling, rolling, rolling, / Keep them goldies rolling... [pertinax, May 17 2007]

Maybe [Canuck]'s ... http://www.petcaret...-runner-coyote.html
... are wilier. [pertinax, May 18 2007]


       Nice. Perhaps an aquatic equivalent should be made for protecting your goldfish in the pond from lurking cats and hungry badgers. Like little seive-submarines. Seivemarines if you will.
theleopard, May 14 2007

       Excellent idea, bunnage [+] . The real genius of course would be making one for your budgie.
marklar, May 14 2007

       True [mark] true.
theleopard, May 14 2007

       + I like this a lot.
xandram, May 14 2007

       A simple variation of this device that autoreversed at the property line would be a humane alternative to the electric fence now used to confine dogs (and drive them insane).
nuclear hobo, May 15 2007

       //But why limit this to rodents? //   

       Because rodents (well, our guinea-pig, anyway), don't demand much space or exercise, and seem quite happy with a life of ambling, munching and sleeping within a small, safe space (provided we get him out and groom him from time to time).   

       Other species would, as you say, [21_Quest], want to drive. That would take us back towards the great goldfish-powered rolling goldfish-bowl debate (the half-bakery's answer to Zeno's paradoxes) - which was great fun *the first time round*. Well, either that or an entirely different idea, 'motor transport for pets'. Don't forget to check your wing mirror for a St Bernard in an SUV before pulling out.   

       Granted, the goldfish mightn't want to drive, but I fear that [theleopard]'s seivemarine might get in the way of their doing their primary job, namely, eating the eggs and larvae of the local mosquitoes. Then we'd have to feed them, as well.
pertinax, May 15 2007

       //Excellent idea, bunnage [+] . The real genius of course would be making one for your budgie.//   

       Can we run this "budgie" thing through the British-American translator? I can see it working for rabbits, hares, and hamsters, but to my knowledge, a budgie is a collection of undergarment cloth that has become lodged between the left buttock and the right buttock.
ye_river_xiv, May 15 2007

       If I had at least a couple acre lot, i'd like a system like this for my house. A house on tank tracks. Like star wars and those little freaks with glowing eyes on the desert planet.
twitch, May 15 2007

       [ye] see [linky-chops].   

       [Pertinax], Colendarines?
theleopard, May 15 2007

       Good thought, [theleopard], but you see I think the mozzies would still spot the dinky little conning tower and head straight off to lay their eggs in the under-utilized outside toilet... where the spiders get some of them, but not enough.
pertinax, May 15 2007

       I had an outdoor cage for the rabbit, and a portable run that I'd move around for the ducks. This would've been brilliant.   

       Of course, the rabbit's dead, and so are the ducks. The cat is strictly an indoor model. Do you think we could rig this up for a couple of teenage boys?   

       BTW, "budgies" = "budgerigar," a small bird. I believe it's a variety of parrot, but without resorting to Google, I'm not positive.
elhigh, May 15 2007

       Just to simplify things, you could leave out the Roomba controller, and just put sensors around the inside rim. Then when little Fluffkins pushes against a side, the whole thing creeps away in the direction he wants . . . provided it can move any direction. Okay, leave it like a Roomba.   

       For what it's worth, us primates are probably more closely related to the rabbits and rodents than to the rest of the animals.
baconbrain, May 15 2007

       //Do you think we could rig this up for a couple of teenage boys?//   

       Don't forget to get them out and groom them from time to time, [elhigh].
pertinax, May 15 2007

       I've posted the goldfish submarine idea [linky]. In the mean time I'll be eagerly anticipating anyone's take on [marklar]'s budgerigar challenge.
theleopard, May 16 2007

       The older one has discovered girls and is now grooming himself. Excessively. A lot.   

       And shaving. When the #$@? did I get so old?
elhigh, May 16 2007

       The budgerigar challenge requires lateral thinking. We can't ask Tweety Pie to lift the weight of a carapace, and I'm too tight-fisted to buy him a little perspex helicopter. Therefore, we must divide the problem into two, namely, (1) confinement within a generously-sized area and (2) security against predators.   

       For part (1), I propose to use one of those little leg-rings that scientists put on wild birds to mark them for future observation. All you have to do is tie two hundred yards of button thread on to that, and watch out for those trees.   

       For part (2), we'll need [21_Quest]'s dog Fluffy riding shotgun in his çåíèòíàÿ Doggy Tank, as per link.   

       <edit>Sorry, the proper cyrillic 'zenitnaya' doesn't display properly. Oh, well.</edit>
pertinax, May 18 2007

       I hate to throw a monkey into the wrench, but aren't guinea pigs nocturnal? So wouldn't the the solar collectors have to be lunar collectors? And how do we protect Nibbles from roving bands of night-stalking coyotes that might have acquired hutch-popping technology?
Canuck, May 18 2007

       //but aren't guinea pigs nocturnal?//   

       Not noticeably, no. Maybe in the wild they're more active around dawn and dusk, like rabbits and kangaroos, but not nocturnal.   

       //hutch-popping technology?//   

       Well, if the coyotes have acquired this (maybe from the Acme corporation - see link), they're a lot cleverer than our neighbourhood cats, who have already spent some time trying unsuccessfully to work out how to crack this hutch.
pertinax, May 18 2007

       I guess I was confusing them with hamsters, which are nocturnal. I've never owned either critter. And I just used coyotes as a predator because they're nocturnal.   

       While reading your anno I had a quick mental image of Nibbles being armed with a taser to fend of predators. He'd carry it in a tiny holster on a tiny belt. Too bad he has no opposable thumb to actually use one.
Canuck, May 19 2007

       Following on from the taser idea, a sensor could detect the difference between nibbles casually strolling inside his hutch and nibbles running for his life. The wire of the cage could then be electrified fora couple of mins or until Nibbles emerges.
marklar, May 19 2007

       Nibbles could probably manage a two-pawed grip, [Canuck], as found on some large water-pistols (he uses his front paws together to stop carrots from rolling away). You'd have to take the weight of the weapon on a swivelling mount of some sort, though, as I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be able to lift it and trigger it at the same time.   

       The trouble is, he's a 'flight animal'. This might also be a problem for [marklar]'s suggestion, in that //nibbles running for his life// can easily be triggered by someone clearing their throat, or appearing from an unexpected direction.   

       Both of these technologies would probably work better for rats, well known for their insouciant rattitude. However, I'm not sure I'd want to give them to a rat; he'd 'technology transfer' them to his feral cousins, and there'd be nasty incidents involving pest controllers.   

       [bigsleep]; nice variation on a classic theme.
pertinax, May 20 2007

       Sorry I didn't see this. Our rabbits have been using an old large birdcage on its side to get everywhere, when we cannot attend to them outside their regular cage. It simply roles everywhere. We put rocks to keep it from reaching flowers or shrubs that we want to save from their mouths.
pashute, Mar 22 2011


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