Steve Winter Gets Up Close and Personal with a Curious Tiger Using a Robot Rig

National Geographic photographer Steve Winter is a big on the big cats. After all, he was willing to spend 12 months chasing after the perfect mountain lion shot. In the video above, he didn’t have to exhibit that sort of patience, instead he had to control a finicky robotic camera rig as best he could and try to snap some awesome photos of a curious tiger.

The video was actually uploaded last year in March, but only just caught our attention when it made its way onto Reddit.

Initially, it’s just a behind the scenes video showing Winter as he tries out a newly-designed robotic camera rig that was built specifically for documenting tigers from closer by. But just as they’re bringing the robot back from its first test run (which, by the way, wasn’t going well) a tiger stalks out of the forest to inspect the doohickey.


That’s when it gets good, because technical difficulties or not, the option to bring the robot back in to fix it disappeared when the tiger appeared. So, even though the rig is malfunctioning and not allowing Winter to move the camera the way he wants, he has to make due and capture something special.

Of course, it’s hardly a spoiler when we tell you he succeeded… after all, he’s a celebrated National Geographic photographer. Check out the video at the top to see the whole experience for yourself and, if you’d like to see more of Winter’s work when you’re done, check out his website by clicking here.

(via Reddit)

  • Leonardo Abreu

    They invaded the tiger space, now it need to be killed.

  • Alan Sailer

    I can see the attraction of using remote robots to get otherwise impossible pictures. In my opinion, the already harassed, hunted and marginalized tiger seems to be even further diminished by becoming the object of a glorified video game.

    I am positive drones are next in the ongoing campaign of rare animal harassment. Or maybe strap a couple of GoPro units strapped to the creature.

    Or maybe one of those gastric video cameras for a rare inside look of the mighty tigers intestines.


  • romainbtl

    I’ve seen a documentary 10years ago on french TV using the same kind of RC cars to film a lion family. They used it a lot and had crazy shots.

    Any of you would have the reference movie ?

    Thanks by advance.

  • Bryan


  • Suheim Sheikh

    This amounts to interfering with nature and treating animals as toys. not sure about any serious conservation angle to this. Natgeo has many such projects that are designed for eyeballs and with no conservation angle at all. In fact I can see Tigers getting hurt with the stuff that is there in these toys if they get violent with them. There is a certain dignity in the jungle and it is our responsibility to maintain it. Introducing a robot so up close and personal to animals amounts to harassment.

  • Rob Elliott

    This is really neat. It’s a way to interact a little without being put in danger. The cats seemed more playful then anything.

    I like that they experiment a little bit. It’s always nice to see the positive playful side of these animals,