‘Super Monster Wolf’ unleashed to scare pests away from Japanese farms
Image credit: Aflo/REX/Shutterstock
A growling robotic wolf has been scheduled for mass production, which its designers hope will be widely used to scare wild boar away from farms.
According to Chikao Umezawa, head of agricultural association JA Kisarazu-shi, farmers have long been resigned to losing a fraction of their crops to wild boar. Umezawa suggests that a robotic predator like Super Monster Wolf could be more effective than an electric fence at protecting a large area of farmland.
Super Monster Wolf has been undergoing testing in Kisarazu City in Japan’s Chiba prefecture since July 2017. According to reports, it has proved very effective, causing large drops in the amount of crops lost to wild boar.
The robot somewhat resembles a wolf, having a snout, large teeth and being mostly covered in shaggy grey-brown fur. It is about the size of a golden retriever dog.
It detects wild animals using an infrared sensor, which will allow it to operate at night. When it detects a pest, it can flash its red LED eyes and emit a choice of 48 different scary sounds – including a gunshot, a human voice and the howling of a wolf – at up to 90 decibels. It is powered by solar-rechargeable batteries.
Super Monster Wolf works with a radius of 1km, although currently the wolf is immobile.
It has proved such a success during its trial period that it will entering mass production in April and will be available for lease or for purchase at a price of 514,000 yen (£3,470).
The Japanese wolf – one of the smallest wolves – went extinct in the early twentieth century. Slowly, Japan has become overrun with its former prey: deer and wild boar.