Japanese Startup to Offer "Online Zoo" amid Epidemic

Economy

Tokyo, May 13 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese startup developing automated driving technologies said Wednesday that it will allow people on Saturday to view animals of a zoo from their homes through a special website amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

For the "online zoo" initiative, Tokyo-based ZMP Inc. will partner with Chiba Zoological Park in the city of Chiba, east of Tokyo, which is currently closed due to the government's declaration of a state of emergency over the epidemic.

A self-driving robot mounted with a camera capable of scanning 360 degrees will move around the park's grassland zone roughly at the same pace as a walking human and livestream animals in the area, such as elephants, giraffes and meerkats.

The company hopes that the online zoo will cheer up children forced to stay in their homes.

The initiative will be run for an hour from 10 a.m. Saturday (1 a.m. GMT) and for two hours from 1 p.m. the same day. It will be postponed to Sunday in the event of rain.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press