David Hanson,a robot designer and engineer, has created a revelation in the robotic world, as he is responsible for building technologies that allow robots to make more realistic facial expressions, called “Frubber,” to appear more human overall. His discoveries sparked a new development at the University of California San Diego’s machine lab that is being used to understand brain development, and now, animal interaction.
BBC has just released a documentary "Penguins: Spy in the Huddle," where robots, designed to look like penguins and rocks, subtlety blend in with penguin communities, which have recorded over a year’s worth of penguin intimate interaction.
Anybody who specializes or has interest in wildlife of any kinds, whether it’s amphibians or reptiles, knows that the best way to learn about an animal is to observe it in its own environment. Since areas of the jungle and deep sea can be too dangerous for humans to travel to, researches have intertwined the discoveries made in the world of robotics to advance in the study of animals and wildlife.
John Downer Productions, a filmmaker of wildlife created the BBC penguin documentary, has used the mobile robots in the form of rocks and animals to record animals in the wild. Check out the video below to see how his robotic cameras work.
The production team is able to control the robot penguins and dive down to 300 feet, capturing authentic footage in a way that scientists and researchers were not capable of doing ever before.
Although the robots used in the BBC penguin documentary are not as advanced as the ones Hanson has created, this new development has sparked the beginning of a new revelation in science and the way that ethologists will conduct their research in the future.
Without disturbing the environments and natural behavior of animals, these robots can potentially uncover information about wildlife that scientists were unable to discover before.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo