Animal researchers have used many tools to get a glimpse of how wild animals live. For example, they’re now using a robotic dog, controlled by a remote control, to interact with a pack of wild dogs to get a look into their lives.
The robotic pup looks like a real dog. It wags its tail, moves around, bends forward and backward, and even barks. The only difference is it has a camera in its right eye.
Before research can be done, the pack must accept the robot. First, it works on the puppies in the pack.
The dogs approach it with caution but watch the robot mimic their body language. This makes the robot look less-threatening and keeps the real wild dogs from ripping him up.
In the clip below, you can see the puppies act curious around the robot as it wags its tail and makes itself look ready for play and not fighting. Despite it not smelling like a wild dog, the puppies accept it.
A bigger task, though, is the adult wild dogs letting the robot into their pack. Like with the puppies, the robot dog acts submissive and eventually wins them over.
The robot dog is part of the BBC’s educational animal program Spy in the Wild, which follows the secret life of the robot dog posing as a real wild dog.
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Footage provided courtesy of John Downer Productions