Robotic Animals Catching Poachers

Robots exist to help people. Automation makes work easier for humans and does so faster, more affordably, and more consistently. We specialize in Indramat motion control systems, so the type of robots that we’re familiar with are, of course, industrial machines. These are the robots that help people make goods or package products. There are many other types of robots, however, and they are designed to help humans in other ways.

Poaching is something that’s often associated with exotic animals roaming the Serengeti, but that’s not always the case. Poaching is the illegal killing of any animal. This can mean killing a protected species or killing an animal out of season or on closed land. According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are tens of millions of legally killed animals in the U.S. each year, and for every legally killed animal, there is an illegally killed animal. Since it is difficult to track these incidents, poachers are typically not caught for their crimes.

That’s why American wildlife law enforcement are looking to use robots to help catch poachers. Wildlife officers are using robotic animals to try and lure poachers out of hiding. They’re hoping that by using these decoys, they can bring at least some poachers to justice, and deter other hunters from illegally killing wildlife.

Robotic deer, elk, bear, fox, wolf, and turkey decoys are being used. But before you start thinking that there are herds of robo-elk running through fields, or animatronic bears with lazer eyes stalking poachers, these aren’t completely automated dummies.

They are instead mostly stationary decoys, that are equipped with servo motors to create enough movement to trick faraway hunters. Animals don’t stand motionless for hours on end, and a completely stationary decoy wouldn’t fool anyone. But if these robot deer can turn their heads a little bit, that could be just enough to convince unsuspecting poachers.

These robotic animals are being used in several states, and have already helped wildlife officials catch some poachers in the act. While a robo-turkey or an automated fox won’t benefit the manufacturing industry any time soon, it is just another example of how robots help people.