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5 Robots Pretending To Be Animals ... And Actually Pulling It Off

Sometimes animals get by with a little help from their robot friends. Here are a few of the best ways that technology is giving nature a helping hand:

The Aquatic Robot That Swims Like A Minnow

(PNNL/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Sensor Fish, though it may not look exactly like any fish known to evolution, is designed to let researchers get a better picture of the way that hydroelectric dams affect migrating salmon. Not only do spinning blades pose a threat to the fish who cruise beneath dams, but the pressure changes near dams can be extreme, the scientists found - the equivalent of racing from the surface of the Pacific Ocean to the top of Mount Everest in a split second.

The Robot That Motors Like A Grouse

The Robot That Flies Like A Hawk

The Swooping Robot That Could Gather Whale Snot

The Fuzzy Robot That Chills With The Penguins

(YouTube/Nfn Vm)

Emperor penguins, despite their Napoleonic name, are rather timid animals, opting to retreat should a robot enter their territory. To give their rover a warmer welcome, international researchers designed fake chick camouflage, which lets the robot get up close and personal. Such a device could measure the body temperature of penguins, says University of Strasbourg's Yvon Le Maho, in an email to The Dodo. "I think we are paving the way for a new approach, enabling to increase our scientific knowledge while being more ethically acceptable," the French biologist says.