Innovation trends

Dell the dolphin – an innovation that could transform marine parks and zoos By Deana - 3 min read

Dell the dolphin – an innovation that could transform marine parks and zoos

Swimming with dolphins is on the bucket list of many people but not that many think about the implications of their wishes and what this does to these sea creatures. Animals kept in captivity for our own entertainment could finally come to an end thanks to Edge Innovations and their wonderful work of creating an animatronic dolphin, first-of-its-kind.

Dell the dolphin feels and looks like a real dolphin. Designers and marine biologists joint efforts to create these majestic animals and replicate their movement. Medical grade silicone was used to create the skin to mimic their real skin as closely as possible. Although the dolphin is attached to a wire and controlled by an operator, this is just the beginning. A more advanced version is planned in the future, using other innovative technologies such as AI, which will enable the dolphin to swim autonomously without an operator for hours, and that is just one of the improvements.

This could be a significant innovation that could put an end to animal cruelty of this kind and animal captivity. Most dolphins kept for commercial purposes are taken away from their families, forced to live in chemically treated, prison-like tanks and pools and forcibly impregnated. For a social and roaming animal such as the dolphin these living conditions are unbearable and have a huge impact on them sociologically and physiologically. The pandemic gave us a preview of how it’s like to live in restrictive/constraining conditions, and no matter how social, or antisocial you might be, living your whole life like a caged animal is unarguably inhumane and depressing. So why do this to other animals?

This innovation could transform marine parks and oceanariums, as well as zoos, and at the same time be a more sustainable and cruelty-free experience towards animals. Animatronics could be used for educational, tourism and entertainment purposes. Although one Robo-dolphin cost USD 3-5 million, in the long run, over a 10-year span it could possibly save millions of dollars. A big investment that will pay off and certainly support the mission to stop animal cruelty.

Edge Innovations has been in charge of Hollywood blockbusters’ animatronic, and you might be familiar with their work in movies such as Free Willy, Deep Blue Sea, The Perfect Storm and so on. But since computer effects have become widely used in filmmaking, this innovative company saw an opportunity in marine parks. And that is just the beginning. This isn’t their first attempt at creating such a dolphin either. Some 20 years ago they built their first free-swimming animatronic and what was so significant is that not only did it look real to humans, but other sea creatures seemed to think that it was real as well. And now, Dell the dolphin is finally transforming an industry that we might have thought was impossible to transform. This actually means that marine worlds and zoos could continue to work but in a much more sustainable, safe and profitable manner. And who would argue that there is something wrong with that?

Another great thing about this is that not only does it have the capacity to reinvent industries, but it also gives us the possibility of reimagining our experience with animals and letting our imagination loose. This way we could experience long-lost worlds and distinctive animals. Maybe this innovation will make us appreciate real animals more and give us the opportunity to learn more up-closely about them.

Sustainable innovations are impacting everything around us, and we are hoping they will continue to do so. This is also a great example of how a business can always find another opportunity if it’s open and willing to try something new. You never know where innovations can take you and your business, and what other industries they will impact. Maybe it’s time for you to think outside the box and reimagine your business and opportunities. We at Innovation Cloud support innovative ideas and give your business all the support it needs in an innovation process. Why wait longer when your innovation could be the next disruptor?

Deana - Content creator
Content creator

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