The Kater Farm (09:09)
The Kater family raises 3,000 cattle across two properties in the hinterlands. Herding is demanding and time consuming and the family is struggling to keep enough people on the farm. A team from the Australian Center for Field Robotics tests out a new herding robot called Swagbot.
Field Robotics (08:29)
Professor Salah Sukkarieh is passionate about sustainable agriculture and robotics and believes technology can help the shortage of fresh, organic produce. Organic farming is more difficult than traditional farming and most farms have only a few workers. Sukkarieh and his team try out their digital farm hand on a small organic farm.
Farmer Feedback (02:53)
Sukkarieh's team is working to adapt digital farm hand so it can be outfitted with tools already used on the organic farm. The team wants to keep the robot simple so it is more appealing to small organic farmers. The center has researchers from a variety of backgrounds to help find the best solutions.
Artificial Intelligence (02:07)
Sukkarieh's team uses a series of computer systems to make the robots function like a human brain. The agriculture robots can learn more about their environments and conducted additional functions, like detect diseases in plants.
Farmers and Technology (08:21)
Cattle farmer Rod Kater goes to Sukkarieh's lab to have his voice record for SwagBot. Sukkarieh has found most farmers are willing to work with him because they also see that technology has a way to improve farming techniques. SwagBot is being outfitted to combat and spray weeds on Kater's farm.
Robots and Data (03:44)
To be able to act autonomously on the farm, SwagBot needs to understand hard sensory data and learned information. Most of the information is taken from observation by the robot, the farmers, and the engineers. The team is teaching it to learn to identify weeds by sight.
Large Scale Farms (06:02)
RIPPA is a fully autonomous robot Sukkarieh and his team has developed for large farming operations. It is the most advance of their robots and can understand its surroundings and activate a series of tools. The team takes it for field trial on a large vegetable farm.
Harvesting Robot (01:11)
Harvesting is the most labor-intensive activity on large scale farms. Sukkarieh's team is running lab experiments on a prototype for an outdoor harvesting robot. The robot must be able to identify corps that need to be picked and do so without harming them.
Field Test (05:56)
The team tests digital farm hand with a flame weeder tool from the organic farm. Farmer Eric Andersen does not want the robot to eliminate jobs but thinks it could help his farm be more efficient.
Cattle Herding (07:06)
With the addition of Rod's voice to SwagBot, the team tests it again on the Kater farm. The cattle begin to follow SwagBot when they hear Rod's call.
Credits: Farmer Needs A Robot (00:39)
Credits: Farmer Needs A Robot
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