The number of rhinos in Asia and South Africa is dwindling, all thanks to poachers who hunt them for their horns. Poaching rhinos is apparently a lucrative business, for the sake of endangering species to extinction. Enter the Ramakera – a robot that could track and monitor poaching activity, and hopefully, prevent rhinos from completely disappearing from the planet.
The Ramakera is a proposal fleshed out by mechanical engineer Charles Bombardier, but he credits Canadian photographer Gregory Colbert for coming up with the idea of a robot that could protect animals in the wild. Writing for Wired Magazine, he says that this robot could actually save rhino lives.
Poaching Rhinos Could be Foiled by ‘One of their Own’
Bombardier’s proposal does not seem all that absurd, and the mechanical engineer actually gave out some details and specification regarding his wildlife protection robot. He said that it will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells, and will utilize hydraulics in its servomotors for the functioning of its limbs.
As for tracking and vision, cameras and infrared sensors will be installed on the system. It will also utilize a navigational unit that will help it move either independently or controlled by humans.
The navigation system will also be handy when the unit needs to return to its “base” for resupplying or recharging, as well as for installing necessary updates to both software and hardware. All this will be covered by an artificial scent and skin.
Now, Bombardier admits that the robot cannot completely fool the rhinos into accepting it as one of their own.
At best it will be a strange imitation. However, he feels that this is better than other intrusive methods of wildlife protection.
Rhinos have been hunted for their horns and since 2010, already 5,000 of the species have met their demise due to poaching. The Javan and Sumatran species in Asia are also on the verge of extinction.
Here is hoping that Ramakera and other proposals like it would help save the rhinos and bring their population to a significant number again.
Image Source: Pixabay