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Open journal of ecology 2, 2 (2012) 49-57
Robots in ecology: welcome to the machine
David Grémillet1, 2, William Puech3, Véronique Garçon4, Thierry Boulinier1, Yvon Le Maho5
(2012)

Robots have primarily been developed for warfare, yet they also serve peaceful purposes. Their use in Ecology is in its infancy, but they may soon become essential tools in a broad variety of eco-logical sub-disciplines. Autonomous robots, in particular drones sent to previously inaccessi-ble areas, have revolutionized data acquisition, not only for abiotic parameters, but also for re-cording the behavior of undisturbed animals and collecting biological material. Robots will also play an essential role in population Ecology, as they will allow for automatic census of indi-viduals through image processing, or via detec-tion of animals marked electronically. These new technologies will enable automated experimen-tation for increasingly large sample sizes, both in the laboratory and in the field. Finally, inter-active robots and cyborgs are becoming major players in modern studies of animal behavior. Such rapid progress nonetheless raises ethical, environmental, and security issues.
1 :  CEFE - Centre d'écologie fonctionnelle et évolutive
2 :  Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
3 :  LIRMM - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier
4 :  LEGOS - Laboratoire d'études en Géophysique et océanographie spatiales
5 :  DEPE-IPHC - Département Ecologie, Physiologie et Ethologie
INFO-ROB/ICAR
Sciences de l'environnement

Sciences du Vivant/Biodiversité/Evolution
Animal Behavior – Biodiversity Monitoring – Autonomous Vehicle – Drone – Cyborg – Population Biology – Robot Ethics – Robotics Network