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How to Build a ‘Spy Creature’ with Animatronic Designer John Nolan


What does it takes to make a ‘spy creature’ come alive? In the latest episode of the InsideNATURE podcast, we hear from animatronic designer John Nolan, who, along with his hardworking team, created the 30-plus robot spy creatures featured in upcoming NATURE mini-series Spy in the Wild (airing Feb 1st thru March 1st on PBS). The creatures range in size from a small worm-like grub to a full-size, fully-expressive orangutan. And while they all look very different from each other, they have two things common: their movements are believable enough to fool the real thing and hidden inside each one is a camera designed to capture intimate, close-up shots of animal behavior in the wild. Listen to the full episode above, recorded in WNET’s studio in New York.