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For awhile now I’ve been wondering if our Elmo would be able to be trained, much like the pigeons in B.F. Skinners videos. So when my darling wife Rev bought me an electronics kit for my birthday I immediatly started planning a device would put this theory to the test.

We’re calling it “Pigeon Treat Dispenser”… ok, I know, we might end up changing the name when we’re feeling a little more creative.

Basically the green LED light will indicate the device is ready to dispense. Once the button is pressed the LED goes out and the dispense process starts. After a programmable period of time the light will go on again ready to dispense.

At first we will have to train Elmo to associate the green LED with a treat, then train him that pecking the button will give him a treat, then we’ll combine the two.

See the video below of the early stages of Pigeon Treat Dispenser! Watch for Elmo’s reaction at the end of the video:

The external stuff you see like the button, LED, and LCD display will all become integrated into the device. The LCD display will become a numeric display.

I was a little worried Elmo would take one look at this great big green box spitting out peanuts and run a mile, but he is quite intruged! :)

More on this when I’ve developed it further.