Scary-looking robotic wolves have been installed by a town in Japan as part of efforts to ward off bears.
With its glowing red eyes, exposed fangs, and an audio track that could be straight out of The Exorcist, the design of the “Monster Wolf” robot really is something to behold. In fact, it’s so terrifying that there’s a good chance it may scare off a few humans, too.
— NHKニュース (@nhk_news) October 19, 2020
Located in the town of Takikawa on the island of Hokkaido in the north of the country, the robotic wolf marks the latest attempt at deterring bears from entering rural communities in search of food, an occurrence that has been on the increase in recent years.
Such behavior of course poses a danger to humans, with bear attacks resulting in a number of human deaths in Japan each year. Bear sightings in the country are reported to be at a five-year high, with Takikawa having experienced a number of unwanted visits from the imposing creature in recent months.
To tackle the problem and make Takikawa safer for residents, local officials have deployed two Monster Wolf robots in different parts of the town in the hope of forcing nearby bears to stay in the mountains.
Motion sensors on the Monster Wolf ensure that the robot only springs into action when it detects something nearby, meaning hikers could be in for the fright of their life if they get too close without realizing. Encountering it in the dark could be even more terrifying, as the menacing-looking machine is mounted on poles, placing it some way off the ground. The good news is that on top of the poles is exactly where it stays.
According to Reuters, the design of the robot wolf is based on a real one that roamed part of Japan more than 100 years ago before it was hunted into extinction. We’re pretty sure it didn’t have those glowing red eyes, though.
If the Monster Wolf sends a shiver down your spine, then it’s worth remembering that not all robots look as if they’ve been built for the main role in a horror movie — there are some really cute ones out there, too.
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