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LSBU builds machine for first ever live feed

15 May 2013

Staff and students from London South Bank University (LSBU)'s Engineering and Design Department have built a machine that will this week allow users to feed pigs through a click and shake on their smartphone.

Earlier this year, LSBU was commissioned by Elvis Communications to build a specially designed Wallace and Gromit-styled feeding machine for a collaborative event between the communications company and the world farming charity Compassion.

Sandra Dudley-Mcevoy, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering, Science and the Built Environment, who worked on the machine, said: "Elvis Communications came to see us in February and told us about their idea for a live feeding machine, so we proposed a design.

"Together with colleagues and students Mounir Adjrad, Glen Thompson, Joe Cheney, Christian Koch and Hafeez Siddiqui, we built the machine in our spare time, using a drill, bike chain, a bicycle wheel, a wooden frame and some basic sweat and tears."

Taking place in Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd's Bush this week, Elvis Communications and charity Compassion have set up a large live screen in Westfield, through which users can see a live stream to a farm - and the feeding machine - in Buckinghamshire.

The digital advertising billboard on Eat Street at Westfield will use a live webcam showing pigs living happily on a free-range farm. Shoppers can then donate to Compassion via text and use the accelerometer on their phones to scatter the food, which operates the LSBU-built feeder on the Collings Hanger Farm.

The aim of the week-long event is to spread the word about free-range farming, by showing pigs in their natural and rightful environment, having fun and interacting with one another - and enabling visitors to feed them between 10-11am and 2-3pm, following a small donation to the farming charity.

 
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