This adorable robot doesn’t just look like a sloth—it acts like one too. Magnus Egerstedt, a roboticist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, modeled SlothBot after the slow-moving, tree-dwelling creatures.
Egerstedt designed SlothBot to hang from a wire high in a forest canopy. The treetop view allows the robot to monitor and collect data on the plants, animals, and the environment below. SlothBot runs on solar power. It moves by leisurely creeping along its wire when it needs to find a sunny spot to recharge. Because the robot requires little energy, it’s perfect for long-term experiments. “Sometimes, being slow is actually better,” says Egerstedt.
Currently, SlothBot’s smiling face can be spotted peering out from the trees at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Georgia. The robot is being tested at the Garden before scientists deploy it in the field for future conservation projects.