A robot being designed by computer vision and robotics company Blue River Technology will automate the backbreaking labor of weed pulling, eliminating the need to use harmful chemicals to kill weeds. The robotic weeder will employ image sensors in the implement (shown in red), as well as machine vision algorithms for recognizing and distinguishing among different types of plants. (Source: Blue River Technology)
SparkyWatt, I agree. The slideshow was not impressive due to the unrealistic designs being proposed. I'm a firm believer that design concepts need to be validated using functional prototypes instead of "What If" imagery. Its about practicality thru functionality that truly brings a design to life.
Actually, I was disappointed with this post. There are a lot of great concepts here, but very little that actually works. This points to some great directions that we can try to go, but it doesn't show much that we are actually doing. People can tout concepts all day, and even have a good idea about how to make them work, but that is a long step from having a usable system.
Ann and nadinej, Very nice slideshow. These robots look more artistic than functional. I'm. wondering what stage of robotic develeopment these machines are at? Some of them look like non functional machines instead of operating robots.
Wow, I think that tractor's cool, Ann. Actually, it's better than the one I was referring to. We published an article about ithe other one a few years back. Unfortunately, the photos seem to have disappeared.
Cabe, I wouldn't want a gardening bot either. I like to get my hands dirty--shades of my toddler-era mudpie making--and connect with green things. But did you mean the CROPS harvesting robot or the Blue River weed puller? Neither one was for home gardening. Besides, I'm all for someone else pulling weeds.
I love the fact that robotics has gotten into high school competitions. I've seen tons of news items about those. I
Chuck, I found pictures of a John Deere walking tractor at this link: http://www.theoldrobots.com/Walking-Robot2.html Don't know if this is the same one you mentioned, but in any case, it's sufficiently creepy: looks like a big bug to me.
The problem with the robots and the controls is that all of that software is written by programmers. And, really, we all know it, programmers are NOT normal people. Actually, it goes way beyond that, which is to say that the problem will always be t6hat the computer systems don't know how to handle the exceptions. Even when they believe that all possible exceptions are covered, up pops another one. On top of that, artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity. Of course, when designers attempt to prevent problems from dumb users any given system becomes much less useful, and often much less intuitive as well.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
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