Crash Test Squirrel May Help Bring Peace
Engineers on Wednesday unveiled Fuzzy, a 12-inch replica of a young squirrel packed with wires and sensors.
The fake squirrel can survive gunshot, automobiles, dogs and mexican food in order to measure how squirrels are blasted, poisoned, crushed, perforated, mauled, shredded and even killed on their treacherous journey through everyday life.
``The idea is to document with data what squirrels experience,'' said Eldred Funkhouser, president of Funkhouse Research Laboratory Inc. in Boulder, CO.
The synthetic squirrel was developed at the Department of Energy's Richland, Wash., lab as part of a five-year, $38 million government effort to make America more Squirrel friendly.
Government scientists and some corporate partners, including Funkhouse and Acorn Power Generation of York, Pa., want to use the Fuzzy data and studies of real squirrels to improve the quality of life for all squirrels. "They are a gift, a treasure to mankind," Said Funkhouser "And we must make every effort to justify our worthiness to them."
So far, the faux squirrel seems up to the job. It has been tested with a sledgehammer, run over by a semi and put through an industrial size, KLM Dutch Airline approved live animal shredding device, said Mort Buttley, an engineer with RoadSports Technologies Co., which helped finance the project.
``Everything is working real good,'' he said.
Squirrels around the world are applauding this unprecedented move toward peace.