How robots could end animal captivity in zoos and marine parks | Just Might Work

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Could robotic dolphins help marine parks become more humane spaces where people can learn about and connect with nature? Edge Innovations thinks so.

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The first step toward that future could be Delle, an 8.5-foot-long, 600-pound animatronic dolphin that’s able to swim semi-autonomously using simple AI, or remotely under control of a human operator. Delle swims and behaves so naturally that some audiences — and the fish it shares tanks with — can’t distinguish it from the real animal.

From an industry perspective, what’s probably most alluring about robotic dolphins isn’t what they can do, but what they don’t need: food, sleep, training, and veterinary care. That’s not to say robotic dolphins are cheap: Delle costs between $3 to $5 million, while a live dolphin can cost marine parks about $100,000.
It’s too early to determine exactly how much money marine parks could save with robotic dolphins, but making the switch would almost certainly save massive amounts of suffering among these smart, social sea creatures.

See the full article on robotic dolphins, here: https://www.freethink.com/series/just-might-work/robotic-dolphins

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Comments

Freethink says:

Do you think we should replace captive sea animals with robotic ones?

Ntense Kid says:

Robot dolphins? its already 2021!

A B says:

I’m all for fake animals. I would go to a zoo if it was all comprised of fake animals but had the benefits of learning about how the animals function.

Lily Hynd says:

This is something that warmed my heart and I just love it!, all the people that worked so hard to make this come true, keep it up! 😁😍

Hunter says:

when robots become conscious we're gonna have to let them free too though

Jada Bennett says:

Ik its racist but it's always china

Mr j says:

In the real world West World start with a dolphin.

aulia afraa says:

it should be. in certain programs. in my opinion, robots help the survival of marine mammals that are misused by humans, such as putting them in small tanks. it was so torturous. but if robots can replace them, we only need to think about the costs without harming marine mammals

Spiriteus Mjir says:

Robots in disguise
(no kidding, military could use this for recon)

G A says:

Real one is the best

todo MAL says:

Como no se trabaja en esto? Para ver su naturaleza estan los documentales pero vivir una experiencia relativamente parecida la ingenieria es igual de buena.

Mulzie's World O' Art says:

This is a great idea until the dinosaurs decide to come to life

Bleh Rodríguez says:

What about the moral issue of allowing robot makers to shape our memories of real life animals? Its really cool but scientists are not exactly great people to humans either.

púnpún says:

as great as it is in concept to have these animatronic animals you can touch and enter the enclosure of, safely, i can't help but worry that it might make people respect them less. they might not see the animals as things you need to LEAVE ALONE, you obviously can't and shouldn't walk up to a wild animal and try to pet it, but kids growing up thinking animals are all kind and ready to be pet might not make that connection, even if you tell them "but don't do this anywhere but here", they might not absorb that. they might only absorb "oh yay, i got to pat an animal!"

i hope they do proper education and make sure the kids know that they aren't real animals, and trying to touch real wild animals WILL end in injury. the only way some people know about how dangerous some animals are is because of the awful consequences of someone getting too close to them, whether its in an actual zoo or in the wild.

tldr: it's a great idea to have robotic animals in zoos, but i just hope they make it clear that the animals are animatronics instead of the real deal, and they're made to be friendly.

rudy berkvens says:

Nothing can replace the real thing. As long as you treat the animals perfectly, there is nothing wrong with “captivity”. Only people even think in these terms. I love zoos and cetaceariums and I think they should stay. Besides, the rest of the world won’t care about your antropomorph “ethics”.

Avakin Bella 🤍 says:

I WANT TO BUY THE ROBOT 🐬!!!!

Aidan Doyle says:

I’d love this SO MUCH!

DDeonu♡︎ says:

Kinda creepy

jardyjarson says:

As someone who went to sea world for their career camps, and got to work with their animals. I actually think this would actually be kind of cool.

Sauerkraut says:

Normalizing robots everywhere…smh

Kayoxic says:

wonderful idea that could innovate new ways to entertain and be ethical. however, you don't want a false sense of safety in children towards possibly hostile animals like sharks

Ghosty says:

We lock up animals and it's like we are the VIP's from squid game

Jin Kee says:

Welcome to Furry Westworld

chris mooney says:

That’s pretty cool but it would be awesome to see a real ones but I do get it these animals belong in the oceans doing what they do best

Idk a name yeet says:

Some times us humans can be selfish but That’s a cool thing I feel like this is a gud idea

kevin almeida says:

no we lock them up most often to rehabilitate them and in some cases they lose the ability to be wild or shouldn't be wild and then we have to determine if we will involve thim into a education system or euthanize them. stop messing with facts.
just a sales pitch to sale a robot. the only upside is sometimes sea animals kill or injure for game or sport so this will not happen anymore.
im not interested in completely safe things they bore me i like to surf i like to sky dive i like to shoot i like to race these things are fun because i do them safe but there is still risk…. tell me the animals are robots im never going to visit because those lions wont attack the glass between you and them the dolphins wont drown the trainers the orcas are not hunting the near by birds. lame!!!!

Rosedoesanimationoffical says:

But that wouldn’t work if you think about it-
some of the animals kept in captivity have been so use to been fed by humans that they would die because they would go to humans for food and probably forget how to hunt But none the less it’s a okay idea

Triệu Cao says:

So all of childhood we go to the zoo is lying?!!

Nips The Cat says:

Who else when they said the word “animatronic” just died of the possibility of being able to make the real Freddy or Chica. It scares me, but I know nobody is gonna make them… right?

Mark Bennett says:

Zoos should keep live animals, because a lot of zoos do it for conservation reasons, more than just the publics entertainment nowadays. It protects so many species of animal from poachers and potential extinction as a result of poaching. As long as the zoo gives them the best possible life in captivity, there is nothing wrong with it.. They have a regular food source, medical treatment for any injuries or diseases.. Zoos just need to ensure they have reasonable sized enclosure and plenty of enrichment and they'll be fine. They're not kept in the poor conditions they were in zoos from 50+ years ago, where it was a concrete floor and iron bars and a pile of straw to sleep on.

And on the entertainment side of zoos, people want to see the real life animals, not a robot imitation.. If I want to see animatronics I'd go somewhere like Disney or Universal Studios.

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