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Cattle-herding just got a lot more futuristic with SwagBot

Engadget Engadget 15/07/2016 Brittany Vincent
© Provided by Engadget

Robots are taking over. No, really. They're taking over jobs, especially when they have the opportunity to be better at them than we are. Even dogs aren't safe, if the world's first herding robot has anything to say about it.

Enter SwagBot, a robot developed by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney. Created for the sole purpose of herding cattle, it can scuttle its way even across not-so-ideal terrain like farmland and even pull trailers across said terrain. It's the hope that SwagBot will eventually be able to manage the livestock across Australia's various regions.

The robot is as efficient as it is rugged, proving it can get around ditches, swamps and a host of other obstacles that mean to keep it from doing its job. The next phase is to help SwagBot recognize whether an animal is sick or ailing. Temperature and motion sensors on board will aid it in this endeavor.

All in all, it sounds like a pretty great farmhand. It could be capable of a whole lot more in the future, too.

New Scientist

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