Terrifying 'Super Monster Wolf' Is a Robotic Pet That Will Save Farms

Super Monster Wolf
A wolflike robot, Super Monster Wolf, stands beside a rice field to drive away wild animals that can cause damage to crops in Kisarazu, Chiba prefecture, Japan. TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images

Japanese farmers have taken the next step in protecting their crops from wild animals by building a robotic wolf that barks, growls and howls.

The Super Monster Wolf—which is its real name—only stands about one and a half feet tall, which is sometimes shorter than the crops it's meant to protect. But when another animal is detected by the Super Monster Wolf's infrared ray sensor, its eyes light up red and it starts to howl.

The robot is decorated with fake fur on the body and a rubber mask featuring white fangs and a snarling expression. It sells for $4,814 (514,000 yen) and is solar powered.

It can produce 18 different sounds including a gun shot and human voice. Super Monster Wolf has been trialled in Japan's east in the Chiba Prefecture since last July. Located near Kisarazu, it has watched over rice and chestnut fields.

According to the Kisarazu City Agricultural Cooperative, the robotic wolf is doing its job. Speaking to Chibanippo.co, association chief of the cooperative Chihiko Umezawa said the Super Monster Wolf was proving more effective than an electric fence.

"When putting the equipment there is an effect around 1 kilometer (more than half a mile) around," Umezawa said. "We need to take actions comprehensively to get involved."

Crop losses have also decreased, according to Asahi Television. One chestnut farmer reported that his yield has fallen from three tons to two because of wild boars. Since the use of the Super Monster Wolf, yields are rising back toward three tons.

Some people believe the boars and deer will eventually get used to the Super Monster Wolf and start to attack crops again. But the president of Ota Seiki Co., Ltd, the company that will manufacture the robot, Yuji Ota, said this will not happen. "There is no talk of getting used to, as it looked like a wolf," Ota said. "There is a natural enemy."

The Super Monster Wolf will enter mass production in April and is expected to go on sale in late September.