Even in his tough guy "Terminator" role, Arnold Schwarzenegger might not know how to resist the nut-begging antics of this one Amherst, Mass. squirrel: Rocky the Robotic Squirrel is part of a behavioral experiment undertaken by scientists at Hampshire College. And he has a lot in common with Arnold because he is a mechanized life form (without the trademark angry scowl of AHHHHNOLD's "Terminator" role). Perhaps we should call him The Squirrinator.
As he twitches his limbs and barks his prerecorded squirrel noises, his every movement is computer-controlled by researchers watching, through their binoculars, from not too far away.
(Here's the link to the story, http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jvzEsptLwUXYQOaQm5WrTA_8e-cwD90DNC501,
graciously provided by Poetikat, who has proven herself time and time again to be a true lover of squirrels, both furred and robotic.)
Rocky's mission is to interface with the real live locals, flick his tail, stamp his feet and crack the code (if not a few nuts as well) on how the local bushytails communicate. You would think in a New England college environment, the curriculum on this campus might simply opt to offer Squirrelese in their Department of Foreign Languages, instead of having to resort to such extremes. I guess, however, Rocky was born (or constructed) to learn the lingo through "language immersion."
The question remains: Once Rocky has gotten an "A" for his efforts and compiled the lexicon, what next? Perhaps Hampshire can offer adjunct professorships for some of the more eloquent squirrels living on campus - with Rocky, because of all his efforts, presiding over them as chairrodent of the department?
So he's not the Squirrinator after all. Just another "Nutty Professor."