Robot dolphins could replace captive ones in theme parks1 min readReading Time: < 1 minute
Imagine that you’re swimming in a pool at a theme park and a dolphin approaches you. It looks and behaves and maybe even feels just like a regular dolphin, but in fact, it’s a robot!
A US-based engineering company called Edge Innovations, along with an animatronic and special effects firm, designed a robotic dolphin as part of an experiment.
Edge, which also made the aquatic creatures used in Hollywood films such as Free Willy, Deep Blue Sea and Anaconda, hopes this innovation could replace real animals. Wild animals held in captivity for the entertainment of humans is a major issue across the world, and CEO of Edge, Walt Conti, says this innovation could bring about change. He says that if this robotic dolphin experiment is successful, people could enjoy swimming with even (robotic) great white sharks and other creatures we never thought we’d get up close and personal with!
The developers say their robot is identical to a living creature and can imitate the gestures of a real dolphin. It can reportedly nod, swim in aquariums, and withstand close contact with humans.
The robot weighs 550 pounds, that’s 250 kg, is eight-and-a-half-ft in length, and its skin is made from medical-grade silicone!
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The Dolphin Communications Project has a species song that they created especially for dolphins! Listen here: