The special effects company which has created some of Hollywood's most memorable robotic animals thinks robotic dolphins could help marine parks become more humane spaces. Edge Innovations, which created the orca from “Free Willy” and snake from “Anaconda,” hopes its expertise can help transition marine parks to be much more sustainable. After studying hours of videos, designers created Delle, an 8.5-foot-long, 600-pound robotic dolphin that can swim semi-autonomously using simple AI or remotely under control of a human operator and behaves so naturally that some audiences can’t distinguish it from the real animal. While Delle costs between $3 to $5 million vs about $100,000 for a live dolphin, it saves tens of millions of dollar over a 10-year lifespan because it only needs to be plugged in at night to recharge.

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