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Virtual Rat

A device that makes rodent noises when no one is near
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This small electronic device makes rodent noises only when the room is dark and its motion detector senses no one near. As soon as someone turns on the room light or walks near, the scurrying sound stops. This mimics a real rodent, and should be quite difficult to locate.
molecat, Jan 08 2007

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       ok I like this one.   

       one time the smoke detector in the laundry had a flat battery, and so every 90 seconds would let out a distinctive "BEEP".   

       Funny thing was, there was a second beep, about 1 second later, which was precisely the same. Only thing was, the second beep didn't happen when you were in the room, or the lights were on. After 5 days, much investigation and not a small ammount of trickyness, I found the culprit: a cicada-like insect that was green (cicadas are brown over here normally, I have since found out that it was a breed of rainforest cicada, apparently quite rare). The little bugger was like a pet, he'd crawl on you, drink water you put out, sometimes would imitate sounds, and would never bite even though he had enormous incisors, I thought he was great and named him bob.   

       Sadly bob died after awhile, despite several attempts to set him free. -sniff-   

       point being it was such a bloody challenge to find the little bugger, and I think you should consider variants to your device that include sounds other than that a rat makes. it would make an almost perfect practical joke.
Custardguts, Jan 08 2007
  

       Bob! That story breaks my heart... he probably tried to mate with the smoke detector, and they are radioactive!   

       If you are allowed more than one sound emitter, then the virtual animal can appear to roam, and be even more difficult to locate. If the emitters are smart and networked, then they are redundant as well; the loss of one is inconsequential.   

       Ideally you would be able to download any animal sound from a web site.
molecat, Jan 08 2007
  

       A good one, agreed. I know a few people that this would drive positively MAD trying to find, especially if the device were disguised as something mundane, like a video tape or something.   

       Sorry about Bob. He really sounded like he was an outstanding bug. Or a smoke detector. Whichever...
Dripdry, Jan 10 2007
  

       This is baked - I remember seeing the product, which made a high pitched buzzing sound like a fly after being in darkness for 20 seconds or so (though no proximity sensor). I'm damned if I can find it though.   

       I like dripdry's addition, to make it look like any mundane object.
fridge duck, Jan 10 2007
  
      
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