Animals at the Sydney Zoo were introduced to Sparky, a robot-dog, as part of an animal enrichment study.
RoboEvents created a video in which they experimented with animal enrichment using robots in a zoo. This was filmed in June of 2021, and it was a relatively new research program at the time.
VIDEO OF THE ROBOT-DOG’S FIRST INTERACTION WITH ANIMALS
The video begins with Brett, the Sydney Zoo’s cheetah expert.
He was asked how the animals would react, and he replied,
“I’m guessing it won’t go well with the lions.” But I think it’d go well with the cheetahs.”
On-screen, we then see Mauritz, the General Manager.
Cheetahs were the first animals to notice this robot-dog. When the robot-dog was led in, they approached the edge of the enclosure and took everything in.
It was something they had never seen before in their lives.
One of the cheetahs began to hiss at the robot-dog from inside the enclosure, which experts believe was a precautionary measure. According to the expert, the cheetahs “wanted to go after it rather than be repelled by it.”
When the cheetahs were introduced to the robot dog, they charged at it but stopped short because they were unsure what to make of this new animal in their enclosure.
The cheetah even moved back and defended itself against this intruder at one point.
Here’s a video of the cheetahs assessing the robot in every way possible:
The intelligence of these cats can be seen as they tried to study the robot-dog as much as these experts studied the cats in their enclosures.