Aiming to give caged chickens a greater sense of mental well-being, an Iowa State University professor is trying to develop a virtual reality headset for birds (which many have aptly named Oclucklus Rift) that will emulate being outside. The Second Livestock project will let chickens explore digital environments, while motion detection will even allow them to peck the floor for bugs. Speaking about the ambitious project, creator Austin Stewart says: "There’s waving grass, a few trees and some artificial intelligence chickens wandering around as well."
While the project may not actually come to fruition any time soon, it's more about provoking discussion about how we can implement more humane ways of treating farm animals. "Right now, it would be far too expensive to actually implement this full system," Stewart told the Ames Tribune. "In order to ask the question in a way that really makes it real for people, I had to show that this technology is plausible."