Researchers Build Robo-Rhinos to Integrate, Guard Packs, Stop Poaching

Researchers Build Robo-Rhinos to Integrate, Guard Packs, Stop Poaching

Illegal wildlife trade itself is a troublesome company with climate change, as it is a $19-billion business worldwide. One of the most endangered animals of all from this conflict is the rhino, but we can’t protect them 24/7.
(Photo : Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Illegal wildlife trade itself is a troublesome company with climate change, as it is a $19-billion business worldwide. One of the most endangered animals of all from this conflict is the rhino, but we can«t protect them 24/7.

This is why scientists and researchers have developed quite the quirky solution: robo-rhinos. 

However, let»s deal with hard figures first. According to Futurism, around 5,940 African rhinos were killed by poachers since 2008. 1,175 of them were killed in 2015 in South Africa alone. 

The robo-rhino will hopefully be one of many hi-tech options explored to combat poachers. These will stay and track rhinos, and even alert patrols when poachers are nearby.

According to BBC, the illegal rhino trade is a big one, as their horns can earn anyone $60,000 to $100,000 per kilogram as far back as 2013.

The Rakamera is the robo-rhino concept built to mimic rhinos, be integrated in their environment, and monitor them if any danger appears. The undercover bot will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and will have internal hydraulics for locomotors. It will have sensors and cameras to track the herd.

According to Wired, this sudden move to technology may seem to be a far-off solution, but this may actually work. This is just one of many high-tech solutions that are being explored to combat the threat. According to Wired, one company wants to flood the market with 3D-printed fake horns, though it was universally opposed by conservation groups.

Some anti-poaching groups even have gone as far as to use infrared cameras, spatial monitoring tools, and UAVs to catch criminals that get too close to their protected areas. 

Regardless, according to BBC, perhaps the best solution to combat this problem is to stop demand for the horns themselves. There are still myths that the horns have curative properties. There’s also the need to teach conservation to others. Until then, perhaps technology will be the salvation of these creatures.