SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Robots Are Coming to a Farm Near You
In the Star Wars movies, moisture farmers on dry planets like Tattoine use droids to help with the repetitive, back-breaking labor, but that's in a galaxy far, far away. There's no doubt that robots are cool, but are robots on farms far off in our future?
Actually, the future is already here, with highly advanced milking machines on some dairy farms and a fully automated robot tractor set to hit the market this fall.
To be sure, today's farmers already rely on advanced technology, like GPS systems to help with planting and automatic milkers. That makes the jump to robotics pretty easy, says Jeremy Brown, president of Jaybridge Robotics. His Massachusetts-based company makes software that helps turn regular machinery into robotic machinery for commercial use.
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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
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