University of Texas Austin
We developed our smallest project ever-the two-cm Robofrog-for herpetologist Dr Ryan Taylor at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. To help Dr Taylor study the female Tungara frog's attraction to the male's vocal sacks, calls, and chirps, we built a decoy station with recording capabilities. To do so, we cast several resin frogs from a real Tungara frog and fabricated the vocal sacks out of surgical catheters. The decoys were painstakingly painted to match those in nature. We also custom-built two pneumatically-powered control boxes that allowed the scientist to sync the inflation of the sacks with a variety of calls and chirps, as well as record the female's reactions. Dr Taylor's findings are to be published in Animal Behavior.
Robofrog was published in "The Journal of Experimental Biology". Read the article here >
Read about the project in the Wall Street Journal >
American Museum of Natural History