March 16, 2014, BY Christina Masciere Wallace

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When professors from different disciplines collaborate with students, anything can happen — in this case, a robotic vulture sculpture.

"I originally envisioned a doomsday cuckoo clock, a quirky machine I would rig myself," said Professor Joe Meiser, art and art history. Then Professor Steve Shooter, mechanical engineering, suggested that robotics would make a more reliable final product. Their meeting — sparked by the Bucknell Innovation Group — opened the door to a collaboration fusing art and science and resulting in a funky sculpture.

Meiser, Shooter and their students hope to finish the vulture by the end of this academic year. Undertakings like this one highlight the interdisciplinary benefits of a strong engineering program at a liberal arts university, Shooter said. "Successful projects aren't possible without broad-minded students with interests and intrinsic motivation of their own."