In a sign of things to come, early 2020 brought us the robot “spy” gorilla, a mechanical creature used by the BBC’s Spy In The Wild to record human-free nature footage. Months later, the world consumed with problems so immediate that the impending collapse of our environment has managed to feel like next year’s problem, the BBC has gone on creating more robot animals. Ostensibly, all of this is work is done to observe animals more closely, but to the trained eye it’s obviously meant as an attempt to replace our dying world’s fauna with a more perfect machine ecosystem.
A clip from Spy In The Wild shows two new robot spy species—a bear cub and an eagle—as they’re sent out to interact with their increasingly obsolete, living and breathing counterparts. The robo-cub joins a bunch of grizzlies as they hunt salmon and mostly just sits in the grass or behind logs to watch them like a teddy bear peeping tom. The robo-eagle flies overhead for a better view of the action. Both machines do not hunger for these fish because, the BBC knows, they can survive long after the rivers have turned to acid lakes and the changing of the seasons is replaced by a never-ending heat wave. The new lifeforms, born from engineering labs, will continue to document the landscape through their camera eyes long after all organic life has disappeared around them.
Other series highlights show us that the BBC has successfully created robot seals, robot meerkats, robot warthogs, and many other robonimals. It won’t be long until every species on Earth has been replaced with a mechanical version and the broadcaster’s mission will have been fulfilled: A clockwork world, freed from the burdens of the flesh, where the robot animals wander a decimated planet to form terrifyingly logical new ecosystems.
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