These 26-million dollar hyper-realistic robot dolphins could change the future for Marine Parks.
[Photo by Ben Lei/Creative Commons License] [YouTube Screenshot/Fair Use/Credit: Freethink]

A trip to an aquarium or marine park is a fantastic way to learn about sea creatures, like dolphins, but animal rights groups have raised concerns about their quality of life.

Enter New Zealand company Edge Innovations and their very unique solution.

Edge Innovations is working closely with Hollywood’s best animatronic effects creators to create hyperrealistic robot dolphins that are virtually indistinguishable from their real-life counterparts, according to The Guardian.

While the idea of a robotic dolphin might seem offputting, even terrifying at first glance.

The animatronic animals could be the perfect solution so people could experience sea life without exposing these sea mammals to needless trauma that comes with being in chemically-treated and often cramped holding tanks.

This high-tech innovation, unfortunately, comes with a hefty price tag.

A single robot dolphin could cost a marine park at least $26.3 million. The current price is about 4-5 times more expensive than a live dolphin, but Edge Innovations claims that since the robots will outlast any of their sea mammal counterparts, the price will be worth it.

The life-like robot weighs under 600-lbs and will be controlled via remote.

A test audience couldn’t tell it apart from a real dolphin, according to The Guardian.

The future of zoos and aquariums may hinge on the development of these hyperrealistic animals. It gives animal lovers a way to appreciate nature in a humane way.

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