By CBSBoston.com Staff

WOODS HOLE (CBS) — A tiny robot is living with penguins in Antarctica, and it’s sending critical information back to local researchers on Cape Cod.

The robot named ECHO belongs to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution but is currently living with an Emperor penguin colony to help scientists study marine ecosystems. They say this allows them to collect data year-round while lessening their impact on the animals.

They say the penguins appear to be getting along with ECHO.

“The really cool thing is if I as a human would try to get as close as ECHO, they would be running away,” the Marine Animal Remote Sensing Lab’s Daniel Zitterbart told Popular Science. “We don’t want to scare the animals. Our general aim is to do more science with less impact. And humans have much bigger impact on the animals than the robot actually has.”

CBSBoston.com Staff