Once the experimental filmmakers had placed the robot kitty on the living room floor in 2015, they retreated to their hiding place behind the camera and lay in wait. The Californian’s first test subject was shown entering the room, but how would the real-life moggie react to a mechanical-cat counterpart? With some apprehension, the proper pussy was filmed stalking slowly towards the artificial interloper. But did the curious creature realize the fur was faux and this snow-white feline was actually a phony? Even if it did, the actual result was a viral video packed with hilarious moments and impossible cuteness.
With the great advances in artificial intelligence seen in recent years, it appears that robot critters are on the rise. There has been a lot of experimentation, both academic and non-academic, involving animatronic animals of late. Sometimes, naturalist documentary makers may equip a man-made creature with cameras to give us an entertaining and revealing look at the secret lives of wildlife. Alternatively, animal behavioral scientists have used ’droid doppelgängers to interact with live subjects to yield insights into why creatures carry on the way they do.