The BBC is premiering what looks like a fun and futuristic series on using robotic animals to document what real animals are doing.
(Spy In The Wild trailer)
What does a newly hatched crocodile see while it is being transported to water between its mother’s jaws? How should a wild dog pup behave if it wants to be accepted by an approaching pack of adults?
These and other questions will be answered in a new BBC wildlife series screening this week, in which the stars of the show are not only the animals being filmed, but the animatronic “spy creatures” used to film them.
Using 30 remote-controlled robotic animals, each concealing miniature cameras, programme-makers captured footage they say is among some of the most intimate and revealing to date, showing a range of animal behaviours that appear to demonstrate grief, friendship and even empathy with other species.
Sounds pretty cool to me; now I need to figure out how to watch it in the USA.
Philip K. Dick fans are probably thinking of the electric animals from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which is the first time I can remember reading about truly convincing animal robots.