Is there such a thing as Uncanny Valley for animals? Because seeing the modern spy cameras, I think there should be. PBS has created a robotic Japanese macaque to film the daily lives of its living counterparts. It can even dive, so it has managed to film the underwater grooming ritual of these adorable animals.
PBS’ spy cameras are so impressively realistic that a baby macaque even tried to befriend one of them. This is the same “Terminator macaque” that you can see in this video. Just like the real monkeys, this camera gets submerged in the hot waters of volcanic springs. But it’s not there to relax, it’s there to work.
The robotic camera films the macaque’s behavior both above and beneath the water. I’m impressed and highly amused by the moment at 1:09 when the camera looks like it’s taking a deep breath before it dives. And then, it manages to film the underwater grooming of macaque mom and her baby.
PBS has created more than one of these spy cameras for their series Spy in the Wild, and each is more impressive than the other. One of them caught singing and farting gorillas, which is rather amusing. Then there’s a spy camera so tiny that it was “dressed” like a hummingbird. And the one I still find the most impressive is the turtle-cam that even lays tiny camera eggs.