Robots on the farm

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Chuck, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Now that they are starting to come out with "Agrobots" for specific farming tasks, it won't be long until they think up something that is actually useful for large numbers of people.

    If you could invent a robot that would help with the chores around your place, what one thing would that Robot need to be able to do?
     
  2. dagwood

    dagwood Well-Known Member

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    Chase the MIL off............ :p :p
     

  3. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    Well, DARPA has already sponsored a few competitions for autonomous off-road vehicles. I think some of the robots actually completed the obstacle course they set up last year. I've heard tell that they are now sponsoring a competition for urban roboitic vehicles, with simulated traffic, pedestrians, and even traffic 'cops' (robots are disqualified for breaking traffic laws).

    I haven't actually seen them in action, but I've heard tell that some of the high-end tractors pretty much self-guided via GPS and can do their own soil analysis with lasers. Of course these behemoths cost more than the average McMansion, while the robots in the article might actually be affordable. Are there any more details on the 'Ag Ants'? It would be interesting to see how it can tell a weed from a seedling. If I had a 'swarm' of them, I have a feeling that my cat would try to stalk and kill them. I wonder how the remaining robots would react if that happened? They would probably gang up on her and chase her up on to the roof.

    As for what I would design/build, they already have robotic vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, automatic dish-washers and self cleaning litter boxes. I would say that they all have their uses, although I don't have any of them. All of the other menial tasks that I do, I don't do frequenstly enough to automate. A drywall muding and sanding robot would be useful, but it would be so complex that it would take years to develop. The same would hold true for a house-painting robot.
     
  4. jersey girl

    jersey girl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mine would clean out the cow barn and horse stalls, pile it up for compost and then spread the compost when it was time. That would be Awesome!!!
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A family farm in northern Indiana milk 120 cows by robot. They have two of these units where the cows can walk into them whenever they want to. The unit ties the cow, reads her idenity tag that is on her neck chain, washes her udder, attaches the milker cups, and milks her with the milk going through clear tubing into the bulk tank cooler. Cows given antibiotics are detected by the computerized robot and the milk is diverted into a discard tank for 60 days after the treatment. The robot records the amount of milk each cows gives at each milking and put it on her computerized record. Most of the cows chose to be milked three times daily. When she it done giving milk, the robot releases her, and the next cow has a go at it. There was a large writeup with pictures of the opperation in the Hoosier Farmer magazine. They plan to add the third unit and more cows in the near future. They claimed these are numerous in Europe but there are very few here in the States. One question I had that they never addressed, was how would they ever teach a heifer to go get herself milked???
     
  6. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    My dream robot would pick up rocks out of the pasture. I've been picking up rocks for 12 years and get a new crop every spring.

    Uncle Will, At milking time my cow used to be waiting for me at the milking stall. She knew when it was milking time and where to go at the proper time. When I bought her, it only took her a day or 2 to learn the routine.
     
  7. Shagbarkmtcatle

    Shagbarkmtcatle Hillybilly cattle slaves

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    My dh and I went with our children's school to Mason/Dixon Farms, located on the Mason Dixon line in Pa/ Md. We watched the robots milk the cows. These cows live on concrete, they never go outside. The robots shoot a laser light at the cows teat to line up the suction cup. It can go real fast or real slow, depending if the cow moved after the laser locates it's teat but before it can put the suction cup on it. Or of the cow kicks it.
    There's over 1200 cows on this farm and they are milked 24/7. It's awesome too watch but it's all about money. Those robots come from Sweden and cost $100,000 each. The farm had 10 of them last spring. They still have workers overseeing the milking. All of the pipelines run under the barns, they took us under there and it's pretty amazing.
     
  8. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Brush Hog the field when my allergies are in full bloom.
     
  9. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Build and repair fencing.
     
  10. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    well the farm bot we need has been "invented" in the movies at least, a sheep shearing,processing robot like the one in wallace and gromitt! :p friends of mine have two of the lely milking robots, they like them but some of the cows just would not get used too the facts of life others would go through even when they had no milk! and first calvers? those they ended up milking in the sick bay,after a week or so they would get used too the routine!
    tractors and spray rigs as well as fertilizer spreaders have also had many gadgets added but i would rather sit in the drivers seat than play with a joy stick or a pewter program! sides computors never make mistakes do they? even a small tractor can make a big dent in a barn! the ones i drive (as big as a small barn) :help:
     
  11. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    The heavy stuff, the harder work, etc., like hauling bales of straw or hay, cleaning out the chicken coop, hauling water, feed, lifting rocks, tilling...
     
  12. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I actually enjoy most of the things I think they would probably invent a robot to do. I like to clear property, I like hanging clothes on the line, I like feeding the animals, washing dishes etc.. It the only time my mind is free to just think and ponder on things. Although if there were a robot to balance my check book, pay the bills and deal with administrative stuff like having to talk to insurance agents when the deduction isn't right that would be great. I need a robot secretary!!!
     
  13. tooltime

    tooltime Border Ruffian

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    Two things here: The fertilizer spreader linked to GPS map and programmed to tailor application rates to the specific area of the field. (Requires grid soil tests).

    Then, there are the guidance/steering systems that track your last pass in applying fertilizer and/or chemical and steer the tractor so you don't overlap. This helps reduce costs by eliminating overlaps.
     
  14. Larburlingame

    Larburlingame Well-Known Member

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  15. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    the technology has come a long way! when they can sample on the go they will have even better fertilizer utilization ! saw a four wheeler outfitted with gps and sampler, data is inputted too a laptop then samples tested for nutriants(beats my shovel and bucket). friend of ours sells the gps systems and programs ,there is also a yield monitoring system for combines. all depends on the computer doing it's tasks and the input being correct plus lack of wind !
     
  16. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    thinking long and hard.... that would take all the fun out of it, I like getting my hands in the dirt and handling the good compost, feel good mucking the animals quartiers, all that good fertilizer for my gardens....maybe build fences, especially the barbwire kind. and maybe paint....do not like that too much. I wish someone would invent a kind of vaccuum that sucks up squash borers, cucumber beetles, bean and potatoe bugs... you get the drift...oh, and though I like doing it, it is getting a bit harder, something that that picks up the logs and processes them into firewood. I'll stack it myself.
     
  17. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Easy...clean toilets and do windows! In fact, I think I want the Jetson's Rosie...she seems quite capable and as I recall she even took care of Astro. Yes, I believe I'd choose Rosie to help with chores :rolleyes:
     
  18. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Household chores is where i need help, the GPS tractor and combine guidance is not all that expensive (in terms of machinery costs today) and would be great; but I'd rather do farm work than house work any day! A robot that could guard sheep would be useful. There are already robot feed mixer/feeders, and that too would be a nice addition.