Hootie the animatronic owl

3 June 2018 and updated 27 June 2020

Conceived as a scarecrow, albeit in owl and not human form, Hootie changes randomly between pre-recorded, real owl calls, flapping its wing tips and turning its head which holds a 10mW laser beam. Birds hate the laser beam. Watch the video, which shows birds (actually flying rats) offered yummy food and yet even the most brazen of them scatters when the head turns and they are exposed to his imposing laser beam. Its main use is to keep other birds from defecating on garden furniture (what my wife originally wanted it for) around homes or more significantly, preventing them from pooping on PV solar panels thereby shading them from the sun and reducing the energy that they produce. I keep seeing other applications like keeping seagulls off of boats.

Boat owners could benefit from owning a Hootie to keep seagulls off of their canvas biminis.

I had a glitch with Hootie because I didn’t keep up with technology in power converters. I used the 7805 voltage regulator and yet the cost of buck converters have dropped in price, a far superior way to derive the 5V from the 12V is to use the LM2596S buck converter. The 7805 degraded over time until it was struggling to produce the required current to charge the battery of the powered speaker and supply the Bluno controller with Bluetooth. I rewired the system and tested Hootie from the phone APP as follows:

Rewiring with bigger wires
The APP used to test the code running on Hootie via bluetooth
The updated LM2569S

The technology from these folks was developed long after my first incarnation of Hootie, perhaps that got their idea from me. I like to think so 😁

Good on them for commercializing what I discovered by trail-and-error:

AVIX Autonomic the automated laser bird repellent


One response to “Hootie the animatronic owl”

  1. ianboake Avatar

    I saw many boats at the Marina where we had lunch today and it struck me that these boat owners could also benefit from having a Hootie each. This would stop the flying rats from defecating on the expensive boat biminis!

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