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Robot Cowboys Are Home on the Range

by Conner Flynn

No cowboy hat. No chaps. Not even a six gun. The latest helper to round up livestock is a robot. What has the world come to? Earlier this month in Sydney, Australia, a team from the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics tested the four-wheeled remote-controlled robot called Rover.
robot_cowboy_1zoom in

“The cows readily accepted the robotic herder and were easily controlled by it,” Dan Kara, a research officer for analyst firm ARISPlex, wrote in a report. “Groups of 20 to 150 cows were calmly and efficiently herded.” That’s because cows are stupid. They don’t fear robots they way they should. This robot is working so well that future Rovers will be used to gather data at night to monitor pregnant cows, as well as to detect holes in fences and problems in the soil.

The robot is $1 million right now but it is still basically a prototype. There’s another job taken by robots. Sorry cowboys.

Next they will be herding humans. It won’t be long now.

[via ARISPlex via CNet]

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