The company founded by Walter Conti has developed a robot intended to replace animals in zoos and dolphinariums.
Governments around the world are consistently imposing restrictions on the trade of exotic animals, and human rights activists have long called for a ban on their exploitation in circuses, zoos and dolphinariums. Under these circumstances, there’s a growing demand for robots to replace real animals. In this respect, the San Francisco-based company Edge Innovations have been creating a robot which looks almost indistinguishable from a bottlenose dolphin.
The incredibly realistic robot can swim for about ten hours without the need for charging, and its movements are so natural that a layperson might not even distinguish it between the robot and a real dolphin. So far, we’re only talking about a prototype that needs someone to operate it, however soon, robots that perform autonomously will enter the market. Their cost will vary between $40 to $60 million. On the face of it, this may appear to be an excessive amount of money. However, the potential of the animatronic dolphin is enormous, and the cost of its maintenance is minimal.
Over the next three years, the company is planning to produce more than a hundred and fifty animatronic robot dolphins to delight audiences around the world. More vitally, it will enable all real dolphins to be free at last and live in their natural environment. In the twenty-first century, it’s high time we put a stop to the cruel practice of imprisoning dolphins solely for the misplaced pleasure of humans.
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