designers create robotic devices to help animals survive extinction

designers create robotic devices to help animals survive extinction

a group of postgraduate designers and engineers from the royal college of art and imperial college london has developed a series of robotic tools that enhance the ability of species to adapt to threatening conditions. the four students have worked in close collaboration with scientists to develop the next generation of high-tech biologging tags, designed to help researchers learn more about various species’ behaviour and how humans intervene in ecosystems.

designers create robotic devices to help animals survive extinction
humpback whale biotag


titled augmented nature, the project proposes an animal-centered alternative to the current conservation efforts with tools that enable species to reclaim and change their own habitats. the advanced biologging tags can, in addition to passively monitoring animal behaviour and environments, actively inform the animals of potential human threats.

designers create robotic devices to help animals survive extinction
humpback whale with biotag



the first device focuses on humpback whales to helps them avoid shipping lanes, a significant danger because of the engine noise and risk of collision, by producing sound prompts. the second device uses vibration signals to help the collared peccary, a small pig-like species native to the amazon rainforest, stay at distance from poachers and reclaim its natural environment from the effects of deforestation. ‘we chose to design for these animals because they are ecosystem engineers,’ mick geerits, one of the designers, mentions, ‘like humans, they engineer their environment, but not only for their own benefit, they also bring food and shelter to other species when doing so.’ with the use of the devices, animals can extend their habitats into safer zones.


 the project be part of the final show at the royal college of art from 23 june to 1 july, and at imperial college london from 3  july to 6 july.

designers create robotic devices to help animals survive extinction
humpback whale biotag

designers create robotic devices to help animals survive extinction
peccary with biotag




designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: sofia lekka angelopoulou | designboom

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