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.
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.