Feather Feeder : World's First Remote Control Bird Feeder project video thumbnail
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$346 pledged of $55,000 goal
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By Cambridge R&D
$346 pledged of $55,000 goal
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About

We love to feed the birds but sometimes it can be a real pain in the butt, especially in the winter.

Why?  Here's how we see it....

Problem #1 : It's Damn Cold Outside!

 We know the birds rely on us in the winter for food but we have yet to meet someone who likes to go out in the snow in their pajamas just to spread bird seed. 

 Problem #2 : Those $^%*& Squirrels

Oh, And let's not forget those damn squirrels. Give them credit. They are smart. There isn't a bird feeder out there that can keep those little critters out but darn it all, they are eating all of my seed!

 Problem #3:  Mother Nature's Sense of Humor

Mother Nature doesn't help much either. The minute you spread some new seed on the ground, she is going to come along and bury that newly spread bird seed in a nice fresh layer of snow. 

Bundle up because your going back outside to shovel snow and put down new seed. You can see how this makes us a little nutty. (pardon the pun)

 Problem #4: Fussy Birds vs Darwinism

 Not all birds eat from a feeder so you have to make sure the seed on the ground is not buried in snow. The slightest snow accumulation and your seed is buried, again!  

A remote controlled, squirrel-proof, ground dispensing bird feeder.

When you want to feed the birds, stand by the window and press the button.  No need to go outside.  No need to shovel. 

  • Wireless Activation - Uses a simple hand held remote control to activate.  Hold the button for how long you want the seed to dispense.
  • Universal Seed hopper - We have tested our hopper with a variety of seed including mixes.  We took extra care to make sure almost all seed would flow with ease.
  • Squirrel resistant - There are no open ports on the side or places for the squirrel to gain purchase so we are confident the little critters will be stumped!
  • Jam Resistant - Using our soft-sweeper design along with our downward dispensing port, the Feather Feeder is virtually jam proof.
  • Really, really easy to use - Click, feed, relax (seriously)
  • Battery powered and extremely efficient - The feeder using 3 AAA batteries and the remote control use one coin battery.  Depending on use, the batteries should last a month or two. 
  • Easy maintenance - The battery compartment is easy to access on the bottom of the feeder and the dispensing chamber is easy to get to if a jam does occur.
  • Really, really easy to use -Wait! Did we already say that?
  • Moisture resistant - The downward dispensing orientation is design to keep rain, snow, and ice from gumming up the works.
  • ....And yes, it is really, really easy to use (we promise to stop now)

Oh, so your the curious type?  Ok, we are in a sharing mood and, yes we have filed the patents!

The FF uses a rotary brush to sweep the seed fed from the upper hopper to a dispensing chute.  The sweeper is attached to a motor that is activated by the remote control.  

Sounds simple, right?  Not so much when you consider the design requirements:

  • No moisture can get in and freeze the seed or the mechanisms
  • Seed, of any type, cannot regularly jam the equipment. It's of no use if you still have to go outside to fix it.
  • No Squirrels allowed
  • Efficient use of battery power (2-3 months)
  • Dispense any kind of seed
  • Has to hold lots of seed.
  • Allow for dispensing varying amounts of seed
  • No bird feeding from the feeder
  • Wireless activation at roughly a 50 ft distance.

We can't tell you how many prototype we developed but we can tell you that most other mechanical approaches (trap doors, vibration, rotating doors etc) jam regularly, especially with sunflower seeds!

We know. About now you are thinking, "A bird feeder, seriously?  How large could the market be?" Prepare to be shocked.  We were.

Like any good entrepreneur, one of the first exercises we conducted was trying to determine how large the market would be for our Feather Feeder.  We were pleasantly surprised to find our Federal Government hard at work and came across the 2001 US Fish And Wildlife Service, "National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation".

Packed inside this 172 page survey was just the data we needed. One can imagine we were statistically giddy. 

 "To Market" really encompasses two aspects of the product launch.  There is the timeline shown in the graphic below which will give you a sense for when the product will ship but there is also the activities surrounding gaining market awareness.

Timeline

Marketing Strategy

To garner market share, we will focus on building our brand using a common grassroots paradigm which will mix direct marketing with social media marketing and customer engagement to build out brand loyalty.

Pricing

 We anticipate the product selling for approximately $39 USD with a shipping fee in the range of $5-7 USD.  The product will come with batteries and will be shipped fully assembled and ready to go. 

 What we lack in size, we make up for in ingenuity, experience and expertise. We pack a lot of punch in a little package combining to provide over 30 years of product engineering ranging across nearly all areas of business from design engineering to marketing to sales and even intellectual property.  

By day we have lent our talents to companies like Lockheed, Hughes, Hitachi, Softbank, DEC and other Fortune 500 firms.  By night (and weekends) we are Makers with a never ending passion for problem solving regardless of the area of expertise needed.  We have developed solutions in healthcare, data storage, cybersecurity, consumer products, and lighting. A Nature product was a "natural" next step for us, especially living here in New England. Come on, who doesn't like to feed the birds!

We hope you enjoy our product and will help us help our feathered friends by making sure they eat well and often throughout the winter months. 

 If you are going to feed the birds, why not aim high! (get it? birds fly, "aim high"...we thought it was funny.)

If we can raise $100,000 we are going to design an attachment to the Feather feeder that takes bird "selfies".   Yes, you read that right. We have a concept that would allow birds to take "selfies" without the selfie-stick or training.

Risks and challenges

At this point, we have a fully functioning, production ready product and understand the COGS and go-to-market strategy.

Our biggest challenge will be market penetration and outreach. Our IP is secure and we have an established market niche in a very large market population but we must do more than "build it" in order for the business to be successful.

In a phrase, "word of mouth" is our biggest challenge but we are ready to employ social media, traditional media, and personal outreach to achieve market penetration.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    SPARROW : A big thank you from everyone at FF for helping us achieve our goal!

    You'll also receive our newsletter and mentioned in our wall of feathered fame!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    FINCH: Get one of our limited edition wristbands only made for our Kickstarter fans!

    Of course you will also get a huge virtual hug from our team at FF, mention of your name on our wall of feathered fame, and receive our newsletter.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    CARDINAL : You like us, you really, really like us! So exciting!!!

    Because you are stepping up big time, we will send you one of our totally amazing coffee mugs. Perfect for sipping warm fluids while you watch the birds.

    You will also get a limited edition wristband, priority order fulfillment, a mention on our wall of feathered fame, our newsletter, and our first born children (or our undying admiration if you don't want our kids).

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    HAWK: Now you are making us blush.

    Time to feed the birds!

    You will get a white Feather Feeder, one of our totally amazing coffee mugs, a limited edition wrist band, priority order fulfillment, a mention on our wall of feathered fame, our newsletter, and as always, our promise to say nothing but nice things about you to anyone who asks.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    EAGLE: We are going green and so are you!

    You will get a limited edition, eco-green colored Feather Feeder, one of our totally amazing coffee mugs, a limited edition wrist band, priority order fulfillment, a mention on our wall of feathered fame, our newsletter, and our promise to yell our praises out loud from the roof of our shop.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    RAPTOR: We hope you like to share!

    You will get two (2) limited edition, eco-green colored Feather Feeder, one of our totally amazing coffee mugs, a limited edition wrist band, our custom mousepad, priority order fulfillment, a mention on our wall of feathered fame, our newsletter, and we will hack into the IRS and erase your name from their databases so you never have to pay taxes again (no promises but we will try)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    RAPTOR: Time to DIY

    You will get two (2) limited edition, personalized, numbered, eco-green colored Feather Feeder, one of our totally amazing coffee mugs, a limited edition wrist band, our custom mousepad, priority order fulfillment, a mention on our wall of feathered fame, our newsletter.

    We will also invite you to come to our shop and build your own feeders (with our help) so take them home with you. We will provide the pizza!

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Funding period

- (60 days)