SALT LAKE CITY — After multiple failed attempts at keeping squirrels from stealing bird seed from bird feeders in his backyard, BYU alumnus and former NASA engineer Mark Rober used mechanical engineering to solve the problem.
The result was an eight-part squirrel obstacle course, inspired by the “Ninja Warrior” TV show. His YouTube video of the process has accumulated more than 29 million views.
Rober placed a bird feeder, along with a platform releasing walnuts and celebratory banners, at the end of the course including “The Bridge of Instability,” “The Maze of 1,000 Corridors,” “The Pitchfork Tumblers of Treachery,” “The Homewrecker,” “The Slinky Bridge of Deception,” “The Tourist Trap,” “The Quad Steps of Great Elevation” and “The Orbital Assist Platform” (aka “The Final Countdown” aka “It’s not a Catapult, it’s a Squirrel-apult”).
The YouTuber is known for viral science and engineering videos including creating a glitter bomb trap for package thieves and testing whether or not sharks can smell blood in the ocean.
Rober studied mechanical engineering at BYU and the University of Southern California, and worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for nine years, seven of which were spent working on the Curiosity Rover, according to Rober’s YouTube about page.