Robot in wolf's clothing

Even scarecrows are losing their jobs to robots. A wolf-like robot, "Super Monster Wolf", has been installed in a rice field in Japan to drive away wild animals that cause damage to crops.

The 65cm-long and 50cm-high robot, which was introduced by agricultural cooperative association JA Kisarazu-shi in a field in Kisarazu, Chiba prefecture, on a trial basis last month, can detect approaching wild animals with an infrared-ray sensor and intimidates them by flashing its red LED eyes and blaring 48 types of sound - including a wolf growl, human voice and a gunshot.

The agricultural cooperative borrowed the robot for free from a Hokkaido company that developed it to keep away bears and other animals, reported Canadian newspaper National Post.

The Hokkaido company will start manufacturing the robot to order from next month. Each will retail for about 200,000 yen (S$2,500).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2017, with the headline 'Robot in wolf's clothing'. Print Edition | Subscribe