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Man Finally Makes the Weed-Removing Robot

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the it-only-listens-to-reggae dept.

Robotics 258

Roland Piquepaille writes "According to the Ludington Daily News, Michigan, Danish agricultural engineers have built a robot to help farmers with weeds. The Hortibot is about 3-foot-by-3-foot, is self-propelled, and uses global positioning system (GPS). It can recognize 25 different kinds of weeds and eliminate them by using its weed-removing attachments. It's also very environmentally friendly because it can reduce herbicide usage by 75 percent. But so far, it's only a prototype and the Danish engineers need to find a manufacturer for distribution."

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Well it's about time (5, Funny)

blool (798681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749489)

I for one, welcome our weed killing friends... As long as we remain friends.

Robots with FLAME THROWERS? (3, Funny)

lietkynes65 (694539) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749615)

Well we are one step closer to having robot overlords, we are now equipping autonomous robots with flame throwers!

Re:Robots with FLAME THROWERS? (2, Funny)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750805)

Well we are one step closer to having robot overlords, we are now equipping autonomous robots with flame throwers!

Well, I initially misread the caption as Man Finally Makes Weed-Smoking Robot...

Maybe I was closer to the truth than I thought...

Hey, Tin Man - got a light?

Re:Well it's about time (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749747)

I for one, welcome our weed killing friends...,/blockquote>

I wonder how this robot classifies Roland Piquepaille?

What would be even cooler (5, Funny)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749801)

What would be even cooler, would be a weed growing robot. And if they come up with this, I think a fitting name would be Bender.

Transporter_ii

Re:What would be even cooler (5, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749975)

What would be even cooler, would be a weed growing robot.

That would be awesome... if the cops catch your robot tending to the weed it can be programmed to say uhh I forgot who I'm growing this hash for man I have only so much RAM to devote to remembering things and I just can't remember who programmed me to grow all this sticky bud and there's nothing the pigs can do because your robot will be programmed to enjoy prison and be willing to spend years there in standby mode to conserve battery life but if the grower is some guy you'd have to promise him that you'll commute his sentence so he can perjure himself all he wants for you knowing you'll eventually bail him out... but under the existing system you can't do that unless you're the president who must have access to a mean supply of weed because you can see how worried he's been looking lately.

Re:What would be even cooler (1)

MadHatter2005 (886375) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749987)

Oh I wish I had mod points...up!

Re:What would be even cooler (-1, Troll)

acalthu (1045630) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750577)

who modded this? it's just one long sentence full of shit.

Re:What would be even cooler (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750639)

Exactly. :)

I'm sorry, The Matrix was just on... (3, Funny)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749841)

It's a good thing that humanity is a virus, not a weed.

Re:Well it's about time (3, Funny)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749935)

Here I am, thinking about a whole different type of weed and hoping on cheaper buds...

Re:Well it's about time (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750095)

Wait a minute.. wasn't this article posted by the Luddite Times?

Ok, here we go... (2, Funny)

feedmetrolls (1108119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750263)

In Soviet Russia, weeds kill YOU!

It recognizes weeds? Excellent. What else? (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750427)

Surely we can teach these things to recognize other things! Slow drivers! Stupid people! Luddites! Conservatives!

My mortal enemy (5, Funny)

wawannem (591061) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749491)

I am going to hunt this thing down and destroy every last ounce of it's evil metal body...

Right after I get up off the couch

Re:My mortal enemy (1)

Ice Wewe (936718) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749541)

WHAT are you talking about? Finally, I won't have to kill my back or knees to rid the yard of weeds, since my significant other refuses to spray. Tremble in fear, evil dandelions, as a weed killing robot will be coming to this household in the distant future!

Re:My mortal enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749575)

bah, just go to the home depot and pick up a beaner to do it you lazy jackass.

Re:My mortal enemy (1)

wawannem (591061) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749603)

oh... that kind of weed

And where's the Roland story killing robot? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749501)

That's a lot like killing weeds.

What does this thing look like? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749523)

I'm just curious as to how it works. Anyone have pictures?

They say it identifies 25 types of weeds but at what accuracy? I would think accuracy is more important than total number of detectable weeds. If it misidentified your crop as weed you might lose a lot. Imagine coming home one day and it has pulled out or burned your entire crop and it just sits there with a grin.

Re:What does this thing look like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749529)

especially if it was your weed crop, then you'd be really pissed.

Re:What does this thing look like? (2, Funny)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749593)

In the fullness of time, iRobot will no doubt introduce a robot that can remove weed from your carpet, clean the seeds and stems out, and leave only pure bud in the tray.

Also, the Danish engineers probably will have to arm their robots to protect them from angry, paranoid pot-growers everywhere.

Finally, a robot with cat-shaped grippers and a cat-Taser will be welcome, although a simple cat-sized mulching attachment would be just fine by me.

Re:What does this thing look like? (1)

trippeh (1097403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749873)

Man, forget the seeds. If you could program the robot to reliably pair male and female sets in one patch, and eliminate pairs in the other, then you'd have a steady supply. Especially if you could add a replant_pair(pair=unmatched) string.

Re:What does this thing look like? (2, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749715)

If it misidentified your crop as weed you might lose a lot.

They could add a couple of sanity checks to the GUI:

|| Alert ||

Based on my analysis, I think that your lawn is entirely comprised of 473,573 Spotted Spurge plants. Do you want me to dig them all out by their roots?

[ Cancel ] [ Continue ] [ Configure ]

This is what it looks like (3, Informative)

golodh (893453) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750045)

See this link:

http://www.hortibot.dk/index.html [hortibot.dk]

Re:This is what it looks like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19750827)

Ok, is this where we insert the jokes about illegal immigrant labor?

Re:What does this thing look like? (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750139)

It's a robot. You program it.
You tell it "this" is the stuff I want to grow.
"That list" you have, you pull out and incinerate keeping all seeds contained.
"Take pictures" of anything else like kitty cats, praying mantis, grasshoppers having sex and stuff.
Post pictures on a website.
"Profit."

Hello, We'd Like to Buy You Out (5, Insightful)

g8orade (22512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749533)

This is Monsanto...

Ho Hum, call me when they perfect the (4, Funny)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749535)

weed GROWING robot, or even the weed SMOKING robot..

Re:Ho Hum, call me when they perfect the (2, Funny)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749697)

the weed SMOKING robot..
Dave: Its Dave man! Will you open up, I got the stuff with me!
Robot: *cough*cough* Bite my shiny metal *cough* ass!

Re:Ho Hum, call me when they perfect the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749857)

i might forget. . .

Re:Ho Hum, call me when they perfect the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749861)

Don't know man in grade schol they brought in a weed smokeing robot for to stay in the classroom for a week. You went and put cigs in its mouth. At the end of the week they took this filter out and says this is what smoking does to your lungs any questions.

I'd settle for a robot that could (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749925)

pick the stems and seeds out of a bag, and roll a nice fatty at the push of a button...

Re:Ho Hum, call me when they perfect the (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750269)

That reminds me of the sketch [jt.org] Jimmy Fallon did on SNL where he was the web-casting dorm guy.

Jarret: Now give it up for my best friend and my roommate Goby.

(Goby walks in and places his face in front of the camera)

Goby: Domo we already got the weed smoking robot. Domo (turns head toward Jarret) Domo, Domo, Domo.

(Laughs while he sits down)

Jarret: What a minute; weed-smoking robot. What are you talking about?

Goby: I'm talking about my masterpiece. I've invented the world's first weed smoking robot. I give you Smoketron 3000.

... Robot smokes weed and starts freaking out... Smoketron 3000: Dude check this out this will freak your beans, what if I'm the human and you are the robot.

Jarret, Skyler and Goby: (Enthusiastcly) Wooaa

Smoketron 3000: Oh man I'm freaking out. I think this stuff was laced; I've gotta get outta here.

Goby: Robot, cool out.

(Smoketron 3000 begins going out of control as he begins rolling toward the window. A window cracking his heard.)

Smoketron 3000: (Said as he is falling out of the window.) I REGRET NOTHING!!!

(An object falling on a car is heard as the alarm begins to sound. Jarret looks at Goby confused as Skyler laughs.)

Skyler: That robot just totally jumped out that window!

Jarret: Wow.

Goby: (In a sad voice) He was a good dude.

Jarret: No he wasn't a good dude he was a bad robot.

Goby: Yea, but still!

Jarret: Well that's our show DJ Feinsten take us out!

This is great, but (4, Insightful)

cfvgcfvg (942576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749537)

We want more weed, not less. Oh, wait..

Hmm.... lasers... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749539)

From the article: (emphasis mine)

It can manually pick weeds, spray, or remove them using flames or a laser.
Now all we need are the sharks...

(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Attn. Muslims: (0, Troll)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749553)

On this fourth of July, perhaps forego your usual daily prayers to allah, and pray to our God- the God of America, the God who gave us Christ- today, at least five times. This is a great time to ask Him for forgiveness for the great evil your people are doing in the name of Islam. It's a great time to thank Him for sacrificing His only son, so that we may live in eternal life. It's a great time to show your appreciation for our country, by asking God to bless us, and Israel- to keep us safe, to keep us steadfast as we work to bring the light of Christ to the lands besotten by the evil moon god, and his pedophile prophet Muhammed.

Jesus loves the lost people of islam.

Allah had no son.

Islam is evil; Christ is lord.

Re:Attn. Muslims: (-1, Offtopic)

jombeewoof (1107009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749605)

You sir are a fool, and it is opinions like yours that make all of us Americans look like assholes to the Muslim World. Who is to say that it is not YOU who worship the false god. That it is not YOU who needs to rethink your theological values. Perhaps it is YOUR evil moon god that has caused these people to hate Christians so much.

Forcing your religion on others is no more acceptable than them forcing their religion on you.

Sorry for feeding the trolls, but this kind of idiocy really bothers me.

Re:Attn. Muslims: (1)

s16le (963839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749693)

Allah had no son.

And jombeewoof had no mod points XD .|. .|.

Re:Attn. Muslims: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749775)

it is opinions like yours that make all of us Americans look like assholes to the <strike>Muslim</strike> World.
there, fixed that for you

Re:Attn. Muslims: (2, Funny)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749791)

this kind of idiocy really bothers me.

I think i know how you feel.

Re:Attn. Muslims: (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750295)

Look at his user history, glance at a few of his other posts, then decide if this is someone being serious or a troll trying to get people mad at Christians.

Re:Attn. Muslims: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19750735)

As someone else already pointed this out, this guy's just your garden variety troll. Here's the link [slashdot.org] , and I quote, 'go feed yourself to a lion, christfag.' You were dead on about the fool part, but something tells me this guy's not much of a Christian.

Re:Attn. Muslims: (0)

CommanderNacho (887836) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749671)

Ithribo Al kuffar!!!!!!

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. ALLAHU ACKBAR!!!

Re:Attn. Muslims: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749769)

you're not kidding anyone, you dont believe in your God. you do deplorable things in the name of your God and see no problem with it. you lie and hate on a daily basis and see nothing wrong with it. you have no problem trying to poke holes in scientific theories when it suits you yet have no qualms about believing some people living in a cave that the Earth is 6,000 years old by tracing david's line back to adam and eve even though your holy book warns you about doing such things. you hate people because of what they believe yet in your book Jesus had pity for even the adulteresses and those who later killed him. you disgust me.

Why has it taken so long? (5, Funny)

eggfoolr (999317) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749569)

Why has it taken so long for man to make one? Woman worked out how to do it long ago!

bah! (2, Funny)

FlopEJoe (784551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749571)

When will they learn that the war on drugs is a lost cause?

Re:bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749677)

I think you are a little confused over the location of Denmark. They have less of a war on drugs there, more like a stern talking-to.

Touch my weed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749581)

And I'll short circuit you Johnny Five !

Weed-removing attachments? (0)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749589)

By "weed-removing attachments" they better mean lasers, or I'm going to be mighty disappointed.

Re:Weed-removing attachments? (4, Informative)

dabraun (626287) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749599)

By "weed-removing attachments" they better mean lasers, or I'm going to be mighty disappointed.

If you RTFA you will notice that lasers are in fact one of the "weed-removing attachments" they have.

Re:Weed-removing attachments? (4, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749767)

If you RTFA you will notice that lasers are in fact one of the "weed-removing attachments" they have.

So, in other words, it smokes the weed...

Re:Weed-removing attachments? (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749853)

it's ok as long as it didn't inhale, bush told us so.

Re:Weed-removing attachments? (2, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749885)

it's ok as long as it didn't inhale, bush told us so.

Actually, that was Clinton.

Re:Weed-removing attachments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749931)

Uh it was Clinton that said he didn't inhale. Bush said he never snorted coke. Just thought I correct you there.

Re:Weed-removing attachments? (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750007)

Uh it was Clinton that said he didn't inhale. Bush said he never snorted coke.

...and for reference [reeference? ;) ], they BOTH actually smoked it.

Re:Weed-removing attachments? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749667)

Prepare to be impressed!

From the RTFA:

Depending on the needs of the farmer and the kind of vegetable crop, Hortibot has a variety of weed-removing attachments and methods. It can manually pick weeds, spray, or remove them using flames or a laser.


Imagine a beowulf cluster of Hortibot's with frickin' laser beams and flamethrowers attached, and on the loose! Madness!

No no no, like the bomb robots.... (1)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749607)

Ya'll are missing it... This robot is like the bomb-removing robots the bomb squad uses. It's a measured, thought out response to events like this [freep.com] , so in the future law enforcement won't become "dying" when gathering evidence from a drug crime scene.

hi-tech (0, Offtopic)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749609)

...is self-propelled, and uses global positioning system (GPS).

...but does it run Linux?!?

Re:hi-tech (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749939)

*Weed detection successful.
*Removal mode activated.

Cancel or Allow?

this is bullshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749637)

god gave us weed to injest, not to destroy. down with whitey!

Lawnmower Robots (1)

sponge008 (997907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749651)

How about it? That would make life much easier.

Re:Lawnmower Robots (1)

jombeewoof (1107009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749679)

would you really want a roomba(tm) with an 18 in rotating blade?

I would rather see a remote controlled lawnmower, than a completely automatic one. Far too great a risk to my cats and the neighbors children.
Electronics do make errors, and I don't think the convenience outweighs the potential risk.

just my $0.02

But yeah, mowing the lawn does suck doesn't it.

Re:Lawnmower Robots (2, Informative)

farmerj (566229) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750039)

Husqvarna [husqvarna.com] has produced automatic lawn mowers for at lest 6-7 years.
Look under products and automatic mowers, they have two types an auto mower which can operate 24 hours a day and goes back to it's base station to charge and a solar powered version.

According to the site the auto mower is good for up to 1500 m, while the solar version is good for up to 1200 m.
They both use a safe cutting system and operate similar to grazing animal, in that they wonder around randomly, with sensors to go around any stationary objects.
The parameter of the tended area is marked with a electric loop

So safe and easy, what are you waiting for!

Re:Lawnmower Robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19749781)

http://www.friendlyrobotics.com/ [friendlyrobotics.com]

Great news (1)

ghyd (981064) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749689)

I grabbed my weed removing attachments and am ready to party.

[/doing the Bender]

Aliens! (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749719)

I've sent a flash to Art Bell, I think we're being invaded by space aliens! I took video of some strange lights nearby, other people in my neighborhood saw them as well. They definitely sounded like I imagined the first attacks from extra-terrestrial beings to be!

Note: This looked like a boring story, so I figured something could spruce it up. You can't have a robot article without a multi-dimensional conspiracy!

Re:Aliens! (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750149)

This is July 4th, not April 20th. The appropriate way to celebrate involves blowing up a piece of the Earth, not smoking it.

maybe he should ask microsoft (1)

terbo (307578) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749729)

they seem to be funding all types of zany [steorn.net] ideas nowadays. the laser thing is especially attractive.

Re:maybe he should ask microsoft (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750189)

Better to ask Google. Google has the good reputation and is willing to work with the owner rather than simply buy them out and run them over.

Obligatory Joke (4, Funny)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749761)

"Man Finally Makes the Weed-Removing Robot"

In other news, Bush announces a major victory in the war on drugs.

Link to Hortibot project (4, Informative)

drgould (24404) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749787)

HortiBot - A Plant Nursing Robot [hortibot.dk]

Doesn't look like they've gone too far yet, but interesting nevertheless.

Sounds like the start of a silly horror movie. (0, Redundant)

ruinous (1123167) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749803)

"DIE, human WEEDS!!!"

Re:Sounds like the start of a silly horror movie. (1)

ruinous (1123167) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749917)

Which of course, would be followed by the sequel.. "Hortibot vs. the Triffids".

well (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749807)

better to have a robot burning all the weed otherwise you might end up like that: high reporter [youtube.com]

Spitting flames and shooting laser? (1)

2Bits (167227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749843)

It can manually pick weeds, spray, or remove them using flames or a laser.

I, for one, welcome our flame-spitting and laser-shooting overlord. Just imagine a beowulf cluster of these Linux-running robots, what kind of profitable business plan can you come up with? Or, if you are just a gamer type, imagine a lan party, priceless.

The only thing missing now is a console so that we can issue the command "sudo make me a sandwich".

Re:Spitting flames and shooting laser? (1)

jombeewoof (1107009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749871)

If this thing can't make me a sandwich without root privs, what good is it? =P

Jokes are cool, But let's talk about farm robots. (3, Interesting)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749915)

"The labor problem will bring this in, when the government gets done with their immigration laws," Jim Schwass said.

    I would appear that the farmers expect to have severe labor problems if the federal government succeeds in preventing hundreds of thousands of Mexicans from entering the US without documentation. Farmers depend on lots of low-cost seasonal labor to get their harvest picked. Not so much for grains, but for fruits, berries, and vegetables.
    Presently, as I understand the situation, thousands of migrant laborers follow the harvest and provide the long, hard bend-pick-stoop labor needed to get the produce off the ground and onto inspection belts and shipping boxes. Most (I believe, and I may be wrong) of these migrant labors are Mexicans and Central Americans living in the USA without immigration papers. This situation has been like this for about 100 years, since the mechanization of farm planting equipment led to much larger harvests. Using low-cost labor has been the only way to harvest the food. And low-cost has come to mean illegal immigrants. These people have been ruthlessly exploited and little had been done to improve their situation until Cesar Chavez energized the United Farm Workers union in the late 1960's. However the massive overpopulation of Mexico has led to the need for Mexico to send millions of their people to the USA. Stoop labor during harvest season has been the main source of employment for these people, so the cycle of exploitation begins anew.

    The introduction of high-technology into a field dominated by serf labor clearly upsets the standard order of things. The robotic technology has always been too expensive and the serf labor too cheap for the any high-tech developments in food harvesting. But if the cost of labor goes up (due to effective immigration law enforcement, a really big if ) at the same time that technological costs go down, then this will lead to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers.

    Maybe, and not all at once. For the robots cost a lot of money. A migrant worker can pick a lot of food for the cost of the robot at $70,000. And immigration laws are never seriously enforced after a certain period of 'clamping down on illegals', a period which we are going through now. There simply is no other option to getting the food picked. This situation isn't going to change. Expect all the high-technology in farm work to take place in Europe where they don't have the masses of undocumented and untrackable migrant farm workers to pick the food.

    In reality, there is a real need for harvest robots. But it is not in harvesting food; it is in harvesting land mines. No one is going to just walk out into a mine field and just pick up the bombs by hand (regardless of how many little plastic 'keys to heaven' the mullahs give them). And do it day in, day out, for very little money. Even if for some insane reason they actually wanted to, they would eventually all get blown up. This is true robot work. The harvest robot manufacturers should get some NGO to finance all their R&D in return for donating thousands of robot units to clear the vast minefields. Unfortunately, there is no one like Princess Diana around anymore to champion this cause. Shit, maybe we could get Paris Hilton to rally the cause. Good luck!

Re:Jokes are cool, But let's talk about farm robot (1)

Mspangler (770054) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750233)

"Farmers depend on lots of low-cost seasonal labor to get their harvest picked."

Even though I am not Mexican, and a US citizen, I was one of those low-cost seasonal laborers when in my teens. Cucumbers were my specialty. Believe me, that work sucks; Backbreaking, hot, miserable, endless, and not much to show for it at the end of the day. And I had a home to go back to, and dinner waiting for me when I got there, so I had it better than the current crop of immigrants. It's about time the ag-bots went into production. I want to see lots of the little things in John Deere green, or Case red, or Kubota orange. I don't care which.

Here in Washington State, the Mexicans don't even want to do farm work anymore; they can get better jobs doing other things like construction. So the low-end of the agricultural labor force is starting to go away on its own. We'll need these ag-bots sooner rather than later.

And if Monsanto tries to sabotage this, I really hope John Deere hitches their biggest and best to Monsanto's pretty research lab and pulls it to pieces. That said, I doubt Monsanto would get in the way of this, as herbicides for broadleaf plants are too non-selective. You can't kill the Canadian thistles without also killing the strawberries. You can kill the grass and leave the strawberries (Thank you Select!) But the thistles, and pigweeds, and dandelions all can hide untouched in the strawberry patch.

Random memory, a movie with Tom Selleck, runaway robots in a cornfield, and some sort of evil assassin spider robot. I hope they put a good kill switch on these 'bots. (If no wi-fi, then shutdown all motors, start distress beep?)
 

Re:Jokes are cool, But let's talk about farm robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19750285)

migrant labors ... living in the USA without immigration papers

What a long-winded way of saying "illegal immigrants" (yes I see you used it later in the post).

Get rid of minimum wage, and give unemployed Americans the jobs until the robots are ready.

Re:Jokes are cool, But let's talk about farm robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19750573)

Shit, maybe we could get Paris Hilton to rally the cause.
Better idea; she can be the prototype mine picking robot.
"Hi, everyone, my name is Paris Hilton, rich bitch extraordinaire, and I'll be picking up these little KAFUCKINGBOOM!!!"

The liberal dilemma (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750591)

So...which is worse, the migrants being 'exploited', or being displaced by robots so that they can't be exploited any more?

Re:The conservative dilemma (0, Offtopic)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750745)

It was mainly conservatives who killed Bush's so-called amnesty bill. Nationalism vs. cheap labor, so hard to choose...

Re:Jokes are cool, But let's talk about farm robot (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750661)

So you're arguing that we shouldn't use robots because other people will be out of a job?

Hate to break it to you, but it's been happening for 100+ years and there has been no disaster yet. It's called progress, you're living in the wrong age if you don't like advancement.

Robogriculture in the nano scale (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749921)

Agriculture could benefit from the use of robots. It's good to see developments in this area, especially considering that global crop output could be affected by climate change and we may need to more drastically upgrade our agricultural efficiency in the future. However, I think more research should be taken in the applications of nanotechnology and molecular machinery on agriculture. While a robot is good, a swarm of nanorobots or molecular machines would be much better and with greater efficiency, taking care of our crops at the molecular level.

Re:Robogriculture in the nano scale (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750809)

Do "nanotechnology" and "molecular machinery" include herbicides and genetically modified plants? (If not, why not?) I'd say those are getting 1000x the reseach that weed-picking robots are.

Personally, I'd love to see macro-sized robots be successful. Doeses of microscopic things can't be removed from the environment, so they have long-term and uninteded consequences. Dumping poison on the fields has gotten us this far, but simply pulling the weeds seems cleaner and more direct, if only automation ever makes it feasible.

When aliens land... (5, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#19749933)

"Take me to your weeder!"

Congratulations... (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750043)

I'm going to get shit for this but:

      So the Danes finally managed to clone "Mexicans"?

Based on the name of the newspaper... (1)

mjtg (173905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750197)

does that make the farmer a Luddite ?

I want one! (1)

mike3k (574665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750239)

The weeds are finally winning the battle and I hate weeding my garden. I really want one of these.

Hortibot not as popular as ... (2, Funny)

SickLittleMonkey (135315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750245)

The Haughtibot [wikipedia.org] who is fluent "in over six million forms of communication."

SLM

white on rice (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750251)

if this thing works they are going to be "rich beyond the dreams of avarice". I know I'd like a few of them guys like yesterday. I was actually thinking before of something a little simpler and more hardwired, just a fence patrolling bot, lay a guidewire down or mount it on the fence itself, have it crawl maybe 6 inches away and spray or burn or mow, your choice. but *this* thing, man, ability to ID different weeds?? Laser zapping?? Just too cool....

Electronic Skip Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19750257)

Portable CD players were first introduced in the mid 1980s but were not popular until the 1990s when anti-skip technology was introduced. Sony's first portable CD player, the Discman D-50, was introduced in November 1984. At first, the D-50 was not profitable but as the product gained popularity, it soon became profitable and Sony began to create a portable CD market. The Discman range was later re-named to CD Walkman. Many other manufacturers soon followed in Sony's footsteps to offer portable CD players for consumers; however the major popularity in these devices came in 1997 because of Electronic Skip Protection, making them possible for heavy usage.

I am sure ESP was available before 1997. I was certainly using it before then. Wikipedia says the technology "surfaced around 1992-93," which sounds about right to me.

Bad hair days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19750339)

When I wake up, my head looks like someone forgot to cut the lawn for the last two weeks. Should I be worried about having crazy robots trying to rip out my hair now?

This is... strange (1)

flight_master (867426) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750343)

Ok, I'm just wondering if the developers of this thing smoked too much. With 1,000 acres of grain crops, and a weed population of 200 - 400 plants / acre, how long will it take this thing to weed the field? How does it NOT trample the field? Sure, it costs $70,000, and a sprayer costs $150,000 (which isn't all that true, sprayers are around $30,000 - $70,000) however, that one sprayer can do those 1,000 acres in less than a day. How many 70K robots will it take to do the same work? This "automatation" in agriculture is all jim-dandy, but show me something that makes sense please :)

Make It From Bamboo (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750361)

This robot could be even more environmentally friendly if it were made from bamboo. Or even better, from some composite made from the weeds it pulls. If it could make extra weed pulling capacity out of the weeds it pulls, that would be perfect.

Just as long as we can stop it from "evolving" or adding humans, or our food plants, to its list of "weeds".

Pictures? (1)

Zekasu (1059298) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750397)

No pictures of at least a draft design?

I'd love to see what it looks like, especially if it's 3' by 3'.

Just get a herd of goats instead (4, Informative)

ross.w (87751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750445)

You may think goats eat anything, but they are actually particularly choosy. Depending on what your weed problem is, they will actually eat the weeds preferentially and keep them under control [goatworld.com] . They find things like blackberry [nwsource.com] , etc especially tasty. Very important to keep them out of your garden though, because they also like roses and other flowers.

Of course if your problem is bracken, bring on the Robot. Nothing eats that stuff.

That's nice, but... (2, Interesting)

bcat24 (914105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750481)

... what I really want is a robot to scoop dog poop in my yard.

Sure, this sounds great (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#19750783)

Until they decide the most prolific species of weed is man.
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