So you may know Pokio from Mario Odyssey. If not: It's a more-or-less round bird with a cone shaped beak. it can "poke" it out (basically expanding/scaling it) as an attack.

The bird climbs by poking into walls (beak expanded) and can build up tension on his beak (bending it), by moving in a direction, then releasing to fly in the opposite direction.

Now I am designing a world around this kind of bird.

I want to know your suggestions about Levers & Switches. What would these look like? How would they operate? I would prefer not to use pressure plates on the floor, simply because they're too mundane for the setting.

I am looking for something that involves the beak and its abilities (expanding, bending).

Edit: for clarification.

These birds are one species among many, but there are no humans here.

"Technology" can be simple electricity or steam engines, but no computers.

A lever on the wall or on the floor could be operated by a bird like this. But I'm looking for something the bird could stick its beak in, or something similar.

Edit2: Basically: In our world, everything is designed to be used with hands. I want levers/switches designed for birds with expandable beaks.

Edit3: One solution, sketched. Based on the idea of Ruadhan:

enter image description here

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Who would be the maker of said switches? Does technology required matter? Does ergonomics matter, or only wow factor? $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Aug 15, 2018 at 14:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Molot is right, you should put more detail in there. Is it a place where these birds are the technologically dominant species and build these switches for themselves? Or are these birds smart pets for humans? What is the technology level you are thinking of? As it stands I do not see how this question can be properly answered. $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2018 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


A lever switch consists of a mechanism and a length of pole or other inert structure to act as a handle for a human hand/finger.

What you have is a built in "handle" in the form of a beak and an established behaviour where you insert the beak into the wall/floor.

So a simple extrapolation is that you have a mechanism in the wall or floor which the bird can insert its beak into. They then simply need to move their head to actuate the mechanism and throw the switch.

  • $\begingroup$ Great Idea, I like the simplicity. Suggestions about how to indicate the state? "on/off"? A normal levers handle is up or down. If the beak is the lever, how would that show the state, when beak is not inserted? $\endgroup$
    – KYL3R
    Aug 15, 2018 at 15:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ visually from the front it'd be an oval shaped slot with a rotatable drum behind it, that drum has a circular cavity to fit the beak into to move it. So in its off state, the hole is visibly at the bottom of the slot, and when on, it's been moved to the top. you could easily turn the whole thing 90 degrees and have it move left and right, which might be easier on the birds neck, or place it in the floor. $\endgroup$
    – Ruadhan
    Aug 15, 2018 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. The "drum" inside could have different colors, upwards and downwards of the hole where the beak goes in. So when the hole is up, the visible part of the drum is green, and red if the hole is down. I will sketch that soon and add it here :) $\endgroup$
    – KYL3R
    Aug 15, 2018 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ Here is my sketch :) $\endgroup$
    – KYL3R
    Aug 15, 2018 at 19:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Exactly what I was picturing, kinda eerie in fact. Good job! $\endgroup$
    – Ruadhan
    Aug 16, 2018 at 8:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .