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RoboToad: 3D Printed Toads

The Windsor Star reports on a brand new small business which has been launched by a student at the University of Windsor.  Lincoln Savi is a master’s student studying the behavior of yellow toads in Costa Rica.

In order to better understand these creatures, Savi 3D printed a number of robotic ones, painting them himself.  He created eight of them, while adding electronic movement as well.  Savi initially 3D printed these ‘RoboToads’ “for PhD student Katrina Switzer who is in Costa Rica now studying the male neotropical yellow toads who only turn yellow for half a day to mate before turning back to brown.  Switzer wants to know if a brighter yellow attracts more females and no female is going to waste her time on a fake-looking toad.”

University of Windsor Biology Professor Dan Mennill, “who is involved in the research [along with Switzer and fellow professor Stephanie Doucet]” describes Savi’s 3D printed RoboToads as a “gamechanger.  The use of 3D printing brings about a new era for animal behaviorists who want to study animals in the wild.  Researchers have used taxidermy specimens that break down or clay models that aren’t realistic. Now research can be done that scientists only dreamed of in the past.  What’s really special is the combination of Savi’s scientific and artistic knowledge to create ‘incredibly lifelike’ 3D animals.”

In fact, Savi’s 3D printed creations have been so successful he was able to start his own business: Savi Made, creating 3D printed animals.  “He’s created about 20 so far, some for research and some as unique gifts for biologists. He also sees a market for teachers such as making larger-than-life insects for education.”

Savi has been accepted into the RBC Epic Founders Program for Entrepreneurs at the University of Windsor’s EPICentre, where he “will learn to grow his startup over the next three months.”

Video, Image, and Quotes Courtesy of Savi Made and The Windsor Star

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