Founded by industry veteran visual effects by Walter Conti’s Edge Innovations company (San Francisco) has developed a prototype robot Dolphin, which might eventually replace their living counterparts in aquariums and marine parks.
A model for establishing Robo-Dolphin became Dolphin bottlenose Dolphin. The robot is very realistic, able to swim without recharging up to 10 hours. It accurately reproduces the natural movement of the animal, and the teeth are light yellow shade add even more similarity with the original.
Depending on the programmed capabilities of the Dolphin-robot their price will range from 40 to 60 million dollars. However, they can swim only under the control of the operator. It is estimated that the demand for them will, in particular, because of opposition from eco-activists to the content of living dolphins in captivity and the fact that China imposed a strict ban on wildlife trade.
Given this prohibition Conti expects significant demand for robotic dolphins and intends to produce more than 150 pieces in the next three years. He stressed that the lack of maintenance in some degree compensates the high cost.