Robotic tuatara successfully generates research data

Just over two months ago Robo-Ollie, a robotic tuatara, was loosed into the wilderness on Stephens Island in New Zealand, and now that its creator and her colleagues have had a chance to monitor it in the wild, it looks like Mr. Oliver is performing toppingly. Sporting a nickel-cadmium battery, servos, and a rubberized skin suit, the creature has spent its time bobbing its head, gaping its mouth, and providing researchers with some intriguing data about aggressiveness and mating tendencies within the species. Unfortunately, the current iteration is essentially paralyzed from the neck back, and it took its masters a tick to understand how the head bobbing gig was "sending mixed signals" as it showcased feminine tendencies -- but now that he's regained his masculinity, it's on to figuring out what olfaction and infidelity have to do with tuatara life.

[Via Digg]