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Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Robotics industry heating up
Beth Stackpole   9/28/2012 7:26:37 AM
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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.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Robotics industry heating up
naperlou   9/28/2012 10:52:32 AM
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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.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Robotics industry heating up
NadineJ   9/28/2012 11:29:24 AM
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Here in CA, several farmworkers died of heat stroke this year.  it's dangerous work.  Robots like these can help during extreme conditions but if it isn't cost effective, farmers won't buy in. 

The research is great.  I can't wait to hear the final conclusions when the project ends in 2014.

gsmith120
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Robotics industry heating up
gsmith120   9/28/2012 3:00:05 PM
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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?

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Robotics industry heating up
Charles Murray   9/28/2012 4:57:57 PM
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Good point, Naperlou. This is indeed the future of manual labor, which is why education will be so important for those laborers who could be displaced.

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Robotics industry heating up
Tim   9/28/2012 8:10:20 PM
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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.

jainirrigation
User Rank
Iron
robots wud rule the world for sure
jainirrigation   9/28/2012 11:58:37 PM
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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.

 

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Advanced AI
notarboca   9/29/2012 1:03:42 AM
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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.

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Continuing Trends
Greg M. Jung   9/29/2012 10:52:49 AM
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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.

G W Brewer
User Rank
Iron
Re: Continuing Trends
G W Brewer   10/1/2012 10:24:16 AM
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There is an elephant in the room.

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.

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