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A Robotic Dolphin Could Be Coming to an Aquarium Near You!

Edge Oceanarium Prototype from Edge Innovations on Vimeo.

This robotic dolphin could replace captive ones, via Gizmodo

You don’t need to have seen documentaries like The Cove to feel uneasy about whales, sharks, and dolphins being held captive in tiny tanks at aquariums and theme parks. But instead of eliminating those experiences completely, which can help educate the public about these creatures, robots, like this self-contained swimming dolphin, could instead be the star attractions.

Theme parks like SeaWorld have always posed ethical concerns because, unlike zoos, the captive creatures are often trained and required to perform for visitors several times a day. And while zoos raise similar ethical concerns, there have been efforts to make outdoor exhibits larger so they can more closely resemble an animal’s natural habitat. Recreating the vast scale of the ocean just isn’t possible in a theme park where aquatic exhibits are competing for real estate with rides and other attractions.

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