Researchers in Antarctica have made science adorable. To gain better insight into the world of emperor penguins, Yvon Le Maho has devised a way to get up close and personal with these fascinating yet skittish creatures. Because of their wariness of human researchers, penguins need to be approached by something non-threatening. Le Maho’s invention keeps these penguins’ stress levels low while under observation.
He calls it the “chick cam,” and it is essentially a remote-controlled rover outfitted with camera. With the help of a couple of documentary filmmakers who were wrestling with the same problem as Le Maho, the chick cam has received a makeover. It has gone through a few drafts, and the prospects for future versions look promising. This twist on the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” has never been cuter, nor as valuable for scientific research.
Watch the video below to see the prototypes, as well as the interactions between the chick cam and the other members of the colony. The exchange between the chick cam and a mother penguin is particularly sweet.
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