Happy April Fools 2016!! Thanks again to our great community. You are harder to fool each year, so we keep trying! Here are previous year's April Fools Day Fun on BYC: 2007 - BYC Expanding - BackYardCows.com 2008 - BYC Hacked! 2009 - Server Upgrade Good News / Bad News: Post Counts Lost 2010 - New BYC Store Product - The EggCell! 2011 - NEW BYC Program & Partnership - Sell Your Extra Eggs! 2012 - New Forum Section - Exotic Backyard Animals 2013 - Big Announcement: BYC & Mark Zuckerberg / Facebook Partnership - BeakBook 2014 - BYC Sponsored Study: Increase Chicken Broodiness By Up To 48% With Aluminum Foil 2015 - Announcement - BYC Staff / Moderator Term Limits & Retirement 2016 - Chicken Feed That Changes Egg Shell Color Short Version: We’re very excited to announce the upcoming site / project BackYardRobots.com Details: Over the past 10 years there have been many amazing advances in robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). We are surrounded by technology that has and is and will be transforming daily life. Everything from robotic vacuums and fully autonomous cars to amazing humanoid and animal robots! I personally have always had a passion for technology. I’m a huge fan of Ray Kurzweil and his thought on the upcoming “technological singularity”. His opinions and predictions are well respected, and he foresees incredible and exponential advances in technology in the next few years. There has never been a time or an opportunity to combine my interest in technology… especially Artificial Intelligence with my love of BackYardChickens. With that being the case, I’ve put together a select team of passionate experts in both computer science and chicken husbandry to work towards making our lives easier and more efficient while also improving the lives of our flocks! Our team has put together a plan to develop a BackYard Robot to assist (initially) with all your chicken-keeping projects and needs. The plan is to roll out incremental development stages in our BackYard Robots. Our super-secret beta version is only in its infancy, but is already capable of automatically retrieving eggs and opening / closing coop doors. After our BackYard Robots have mastered the basic areas of raising chickens (like cleaning the coop, maintaining water / feed levels, etc.), we’d eventually like to expand the robots into other non-chicken related animals; e.g., feeding, cleaning, herding, protecting, etc. of everything from other fowl to horses, goats, bees, and more! So, where do you as members of BYC, fit into all of this? As mentioned earlier, we have been testing our beta robot in our labs, but we need to get a few of them into the hands of people “out in the field” to test in “real world” applications. We’re now accepting applications from BYC members to become “beta testers” of our BackYard Robots. If you are interested in potentially becoming a tester and joining our program, please reply to this thread with the following information: The # of years you’ve owned chickens What other BackYard animals do you own that you’d like help with Examples of three tasks you’d like your BackYard Robot to take over / do for you This is a first-come first-served process, so we’ll only be taking application for the next 24 hours! If you have any other comments, suggestions, or questions, please also post them here.