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)
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.
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.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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