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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PODCAST & VIDEO: Engineering Around Extreme Events
Extreme events, such as super floods and hurricanes, are becoming more common, so civil engineers are trying to adapt civil infrastructure such as bridges to these unpredictable and sometimes devastating meteorological events. Engineer Ana Barros discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can affect the ability of infrastructure to hold up over time.
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