Robot Animals Let Us Glimpse Into Real Animals’ Lives

What would the world look like from inside an alligator’s jaws? We could only imagine.

Until now. The new BBC show ”Spy in the Wild“ uses robotic animals with cameras to give us a front seat to how wildlife behave in their own habitat.

The realistic “spy creatures” the nature documentary features seem uncanny, even terrifying. But somehow, actual animals have come to accept many of them.

As the Guardian reports, we get to see a group of 120 langurs grieve over a monkey they think is real. We see a robotic wild dog learn to act submissive to join a pack.

At the same time, we also see other animatronic animals get destroyed—a “tortoise” goes to its death trampled by elephants.

“You can’t spend any time with animals without realising that in so much of what they do, they are so like us,” executive producer John Downer tells the Guardian. “That’s inevitablewe are animals, so why make that big distinction? To deny it is to fly in the face of what you are seeing.”

The BBC’s spy creatures aren’t the first unconventional way humans have observed animals.

Sensory: BBC Wildlife Director John Downer & the technology of ‘spy-cam’ filmmaking from Getty Images on Vimeo.

Downer’s previously photographed animals with techniques including strapping small cameras to trained birds, using drones to follow flocks and embedding cameras in fake rocks to record tigers.

Planet Earth” filmmakers recorded great white sharks hunting by attaching a doorbell-like trigger to a high-speed camera. The trigger let the camera start recording one second before someone pressed the button.

With conservation, the more people know about the wildlife who need saving, the better.

As more people become uncomfortable visiting zoos, and city dwellers and underprivileged people can’t make it out into the woods themselves, hopefully technology can encourage us toward better behavior.

Learn about ethical wildlife documentary filming with the International Documentary Association.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thanks for posting.

Simon L
Simon Labout a year ago

Thank you

Nang Hai C
Nang Hai Cabout a year ago


Melania Padilla
Melania Padillaabout a year ago

The more we know the more we can protect them

Leong S
Leong Sabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing

Rosslyn O
Rosslyn Oabout a year ago

What a great idea, but I felt so heartbroken when the Langur Monkeys thought they killed their spy monkey and all went into mourning, the critter. The crock was good too. Thanks so much for sharing this.

Siyus C
Siyus Cabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Hent c
Hent catalina - mariaabout a year ago


Hent c
Hent catalina - mariaabout a year ago


FOTEINI chormpouabout a year ago

interested article!