Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Japanese black bears, apparently, or at least scared of big bad robotic wolves.
With bear sightings in up to five years and dozens of attacks reported in Japan this year alone, officials in the city of Takikawa on the island of Hokkaido took action by purchasing and installing a pair of Monster Wolf robots in their community.
The animatronic scarecrows were developed through a cooperative project between precision machinery manufacturer Ohta Seiki, Hokkaido University and Tokyo University of Agriculture.
Looking like a cross between the Wolverine and the Terminator, each Canis lupus cyborg comes equipped with blinking red eyes, a blinking tail, and a repertoire of loud, menacing sounds (growls, roars, and heavy machinery noise), all activated by motion detectors.
The pre-made predators are expected to roam until early November, when the bears go into hibernation and then return to service the following spring.
“We want the bears to know, ‘Human settlements are not where you live’ and help with the coexistence of bears and people,” explained Ohta Seiki’s boss, Yuji Ota, in an interview with The Mainichi.
While the replicating wolves probably wouldn’t have fooled Little Red Riding Hood, the Ursa population is taking them very seriously.
Since the menacing sentinels were introduced to their new habitat on the outskirts of Takikawa in September, no more bear sightings have been reported and, as a result, the robot wolves are being regarded, by all accounts, as a huge success.
(CLOCK the robot wolves in action in the Guardian video below).
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