When technology is taking over all other aspects of our lives, why should animals suffer in captive aquariums and parks? Robot dolphins are to be the future now, suggests Edge Innovations, an animatronics firm. Edge has created an ultra-realistic life-sized robot dolphin that costs over $3 million. Many such robots can soon help bring animal captivity to an end.
Edge is hopeful that their technology can be further developed to be used in aquatic parks and even in Hollywood movies. This would ease the burden on captive live animals. Swimmers can dive with the life-like robots of white sharks or even Jurassic-era reptiles.
Founder of Edge Innovations, Walt Conti said that there are over 3000 dolphins in captivity currently. They are being exploited for entertainment to generate billions in profits. This shows people are eager for a dolphin experience, which prompted their innovation. Mr. Conti is hopeful that those who have abandoned such captive centers will return to the parks if robot dolphins and other creatures replace the live ones.
Around 20 European countries have either banned or limited the use of wild animals in theme parks and circuses.
Robot Dolphins And Other Animatronics
Edge has created the first animatronic dolphin that weighs 250 kg and is 2.5m long. Medical-grade silicon was used to create its skin. This robotic dolphin headlined a program for schools that was organized with the help of TeachKind, a part of PETA.
Other aquatic creatures from famous Hollywood movies like “Anaconda”, “Deep Blue Sea”, and “Free Willy” were also created by Edge Innovations. “The idea of this pilot is really to create a kind of “Sesame Street” under water,” said Roger Holzberg. Holzberg is the creative director of the animatronic program of Edge.
Katherine Sullivan, a PETA activist, mentioned how “cruel swim-with-dolphins programs” can soon come to an end. For such experiences, young dolphins are abducted traumatically and often illegally from their natural habitat. If Edge’s robot dolphins can find a place in marine parks, the dolphins of our oceans will have a better chance of living a life in their natural habitats.