It's not common that technological news and sloth news overlap, but this time they have. Believe it or not, a sloth robot has been created!
SlothBot has been developed to study the flora and fauna of the jungle. This is a project of Georgia Tech. Just like a real sloth, this robotic creature is slow and only moves at the slowest of paces, most just to fun sunlight, which is how it gets powered. Researchers from Georgia Tech hope the SlothBoth can spend time in the jungle from years to come monitoring the life there and the conditions of the environment.
While we prefer the long luxurious locks of real (erm, organic?) sloths, the SlothBot has an outer shell designed created by a 3D printer that protects the electronics inside.
According to the university's website:
Based on what Egerstedt called the “theory of slowness,” Graduate Research Assistant Gennaro Notomista designed SlothBot together with his colleague, Yousef Emam, using 3D-printed parts for the gearing and wire-switching mechanisms needed to crawl through a network of wires in the trees.
We are definitely believers in the "theory of slowness!" The creators of the SlothBot were truly inspired by the behavior of sloths, whose slowness is key to their survival.
“The nice thing about a very slow life history is that you don’t really need a lot of energy input. You can have a long duration and persistence in a limited area with very little energy inputs over a long period of time.”
While SlothBot does not hang from tree branches, it does move through a series of cables in a way very similar to how sloths move.
What does SlothBot mean for sloth lovers?
Well, the SlothBot isn't a product on the market, but for those of us concerned with sloths' survival, this is a great way for humans to learn more about the rainforest, and thus find ways to protect it, while keeping human intrusion into the environment minimal.
See SlothBot in action here:
While you can't purchase a SlothBot, there are some sloth toys on market with some robotic features.
The Mindscope Babble Budz have a sloth that talks and moves, mimicking your movement!
Go to our shop and look for him!