The Wall-Ye robot, the invention of Guy Julien and Christophe Millot, can travel freely around a vineyard and collect and record information about vines, including their location and health, courtesy of artificial intelligence. The robot also can replace humans for the labor-intensive tasks of pruning vines and de-suckering grapes. (Source: Wall-Ye)
Some how the juxtaposition of the the beautiful, tranquil vineyards with a high-tech looking robot is a bit jarring. However, I'll take whatever innovation possible to make sure that glass of wine is ready for dinner. On a serious note, it really seems like the robotics industry is turning a corner. You can't read anything these days (even mainstream news sites) without happening upon some new robotics invention that isn't aimed at high-tech applications like aerospace or the military, but rather plain old worker tasks like this one. Pretty exciting times.
Beth, this could have lots of other applications in agriculture as well. In many parts of the world it is harder to find workers who want to do this type of thing. With all the other mechanziation on the farm, I would expect farmers would welcome it.
This harvesting robot is good and bad. Good in that it allows harvesting in most any kind of weather and/or conditions without risking humans. Bad in that it may take the place of people who could/would do that kind of work.
Elizabeth, what is the expected cost of this robot?
This is a great use of technology to help with a manual labor task. With the advances of tractor designs, a single farmer can harvest 100 acres in a few hours. This was unheard of in recent past. The ability of the robot to navigate rough terrain and harvest may bring this speed of harvest to vineyards as well.
it is pretty confirmed fact that ultimately robotos with advancement in AI techniques would take care of almost every field. helping the agri field is jus one of the example of it. but as far as robotic development is concern the high cost of the advanced sensory systems and power back up for a long run is a really a constrin.
I would consider the artificial intelligence involved in this robot to be quite advanced. It was my notion that a human would be needed for pruning and de-suckering a vine, as this is somewhat subjective to a vintner's experience. If this is accomplished robotically, I am impressed.
This continues to affirm my belief that automation and robots will continue to take over more and more of our repetitive manual labor tasks. Today, it is commonplace to use machines to check out at the grocery store or perform our ATM banking (displacing many grocery store clerks and bank tellers). Articles like this one and the robotic lawn mower point to the next generation of automation trends.
Computer-robotic technology is finally reaching the point where most repetitive and menial tasks no longer need human labor. Problem is - we do not have even an inkling of how to deal with it. Where are the social, political, educational and economic institutions that can make these incredible technological advances benefit the human race? So far, the vast riches that these advances have generated have simply mushroomed the divide between rich and poor, and now between rich and poor-middle class.
So far, those of us with good jobs are feeling great about technology, but there will come a time in the near future when we won't have to be doing our work either, and unless the democratic process and the free market system can adapt to this new reality, I see an unpleasant dystopian future.
GW, yours is the most important point made on this subject. There has to come a day when the number of people working and actually earning money is no longer enough to support the money makers life style. What happens to all of those people that can't retrain? equally important how many doctors etc who can't (YET) be replaced do we need, ie. are there enough places in "quality" professions for the multitude that perhaps can be retrained? I think there needs to be a total re-write of the rules of economic engagement lest we have 60-80% of the population starving without a roof over their head and no medical. That by the way is the stuff revolutions are made of. We have to remember that desperate people take desperate measures. Another one of my favourite sayings is "There is no peace possible without social justice"
Good point, Greg. Manual labor robots are coming, just as ATMs were coming 20 years ago. An engineer from Friendly Robotics, which was an early developer of lawn-mowing robots, said he believes robotic lawn mowers will be as common one day as garage door openers are today.
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