15 Jun '12, 3pm

Swarms of robots could replace tractors on farms

Swarms of robots could replace tractors on farms

Most farm machinery right now consists of huge machines. But in the future, farm machinery could be “a swarm of planting, tending, and harvesting robots running game theory and swarm behavior algorithms to help optimize every inch of arable space in a given field,” Popular Science reports . That’s one Iowan’s vision, anyway, and he’s created a prototype of a farmbot. It’s named Prospero. Prospero roams around your farm, judges where seeds need to be planted, plants the seeds, and so forth. Right now, he works alone, because he’s the only one of his kind (*sniff*). In theory, though, the robot will be part of a group that works something like an ant colony: Following the model of ants, which mark places of interest (read: food) with pheromones so other ants can find them, [David Dorhout] designed his ‘bots to mark planted seeds with a shot of white spray paint that changes ...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/swarms-of-robots-could-replace-trac...

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