Japanese town enlists terrifying robot wolves to protect them from bears

From Reuters:

The town of Takikawa, on the northern island of Hokkaido, purchased and installed two Monster Wolf robots after bears were found roaming neighbourhoods in September. City officials said there had been no bear encounters since.

Bear sightings in Japan are apparently at a five-year high, with dozens of attacks and 2 fatals so far in 2020, according to Japanese national news.

The manufacturer, Ohta Seiki, has reportedly sold about 70 of these robot wolf units since 2018—David posted about one put to use guarding crops. They come with flashing red light-up eyes and a variety of growling sounds. From The Mainichi:

The robot was developed through a cooperative project involving the company Ohta Seiki, a precision-machinery maker in Naie, along with Hokkaido University and Tokyo University of Agriculture. It made its debut in November 2016. The finished product resembles a wolf, with a body measuring 120 centimeters long and standing at a height of around 90 cm. When its infrared sensor detects that a wild animal or human is close by, the robot shakes its head and lets out a roar to threaten anything in its surroundings. At present, a total of 62 monster wolf robots are in use from Hokkaido to the southern islands of Okinawa to ward off deer and wild boars that target farming produce.

Hokkaido city deploys ‘monster wolf’ robot to scare bears away from residential areas [Hiroto Watanabe / The Mainichi]

Japanese town deploys Monster Wolf robots to deter bears [Reuters]