The Slothbot is a slow-moving, energy-efficient observation robot that's also an adorable sloth

The critters at the Atlanta Botanical Garden look oddly … metallic?

From the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering:

Their newly developed SlothBot is built to study animals, plants and the overall environment below them by moving as little as possible. It inches along overhead cables only when necessary, charging itself with solar panels to monitor factors like carbon dioxide levels and weather for as long as possible — possibly for years. It even crawls toward the sunlight to ensure it stays charged.

The 3D-printed shell helps SlothBot blend in (at least in areas where sloths live) while sheltering its equipment from the rain.

The robot will start by watching over the Atlanta Botanical Garden for several months, hanging from a lone 100-foot cable.

The adorableness appears to be an incidental bonus.

‘SlothBot in the Garden’ Demonstrates Hyper-Efficient Conservation Robot [Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering:]

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Sloth very clear on importance of chewing food slowly

“Tell tha chef it's excellent.” Read the rest

The environmental costs of "safari selfies"

Everyone loves sloths, and that has led to a huge black market in their capture for use in "safari selfies," where eco-tourists travel to exotic locales and pose for social media posts with local fauna. Read the rest

Here’s why sloths are so slow

TED-Ed host Kenny Coogan and animator Anton Bogaty offer a crash course on sloth evolution. Interestingly, it turns out we might not have avocados without them. Read the rest

Turns out sloths are pretty good swimmers

At least when they are looking for some sweet, slow lovin'. BBC Earth served up this charming video of a sloth swimming in a shallow waterway in search of a ladyfriend. Turns out sloths get a little spring in their step when climbing if there's a chance for a romantic interlude in the trees. The clip is a nice palate-cleanser after the harrowing "baby iguana vs. a few dozen snakes" clip that made the rounds earlier this week. Read the rest

Sloth only wants carrots

Food preferences exist in many species.

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A handy guide to the changing body of knowledge about sloth biology and sloth behavior. Includes the surprise (discussed here before in an interview with a zoologist from the Smithsonian's National Zoo) that supposedly slow sloths that move quite quickly under certain circumstances. Read the rest

Sloths, Magic and Tripping: The Art of Georganne Deen

Georganne Deen - "Song of Myself" detail

 I never thought I’d say this, but you are lucky if you live in the Dallas area. Georganne Deen is my favorite living artist and has a show at Webb Gallery in Waxahatchie, TX right now.

The Los Angeles Contemporary Art Museum has an excellent exhibition up right now called In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States. All of the heavy hitters are there, including Frida Kahlo, Dorothea Tanning, Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington. Georganne Deen is heir to this legacy of wonderful (and crazy) group of women. Her work has all of the madness and magic and emotion that you would expect from the surrealists but with a wonderful awareness of current cultural cues and graphic design. Read the rest

Tiny Baby Sloth gets the Onesie Treatment (VIDEO)

(Video Link) In which a baby sloth is shaved and swaddled. 

Key quotes:

Sloth milk is hard to come by.

There's an art to swaddling slippery sloths.

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