San Francisco-based engineering company Edge Innovations designed and built robotic dolphins that look and act almost exactly like real ones.
The company hopes to one day replace closed marine life in depressing Seaworld-style attractions with animatronic ones.
“There are about 3,000 dolphins in captivity, which are used to generate several billion dollars just for dolphin experiences,” said founder and CEO Walt Conti. for Reuters. “And so we want to offer different ways to fall in love with these beautiful mammals.”
Thus, the animatronic dolphin is made of medical grade silicone, stretches 2.5 meters and weighs about 240 kilograms. The company builds on decades of experience – having previously created animations for Hollywood blockbusters, including “Free Willy” and “Deep Blue Sea.”
“When I first saw the dolphin, I thought it was real,” said a woman who swam with the remote-controlled creature.
Edge Innovations provides the dolphin as part of a hands-on educational experience for children and parents. “Version 2.0 of the dolphin, the one shown in the latest pilot video, has enough AI to be able to make a shallow dive, return to the surface, raise its mouth to simulate breathing and also be able to complete in realistically turns ”, stated for Syfy Wire earlier this year Roger Holzberg, former creative director at Walt Disney, who worked with Edge to work on the dolphin.
The next version, version 3.0 which is under development, will have enough battery to swim for ten hours without recharging, he said.
Hopefully, these robot dolphins used in Hollywood movies could one day entertain the crowds at the theme parks, instead of wild animals kept in captivity.