Robot shepherd is not yet a competitor to a shepherd dog

Despite the significant progress of robotics, there are areas where the use of machines is unlikely. One of them is the use of service dogs.

European scientists working in the field of artificial intelligence argue that they have created an algorithm that imitates the work of a shepherd dog. Now, they are waiting for the appearance of a technical solution, which will be the «body» for the robot shepherd.

The behavior of the shepherd dog is more complicated than the simple movement algorithm through the field

However, the chairman of the direction of meat and fiber Rick Poudrell (England) is not so optimistic. He argues that any farmer working in this field knows that there is a much more complex relationship between the dog and the sheep.

The first problem that such a robot will have to face is navigation on the terrain. The herd moves not on the road as car do, but rather "on the contrary" on the field, which creates additional problems for the calculation of the trajectory of motion. The existing capabilities of GPS navigation and location accounting are not yet ready to fully replace the ability of the shepherd dog to navigate around the herd.

Moving along the road, which was originally created for this purpose, is a simple task. The choice of a trajectory to perform the control of the movement of the herd of sheep on rough terrain is an even more difficult task.

The sheep that protects it's offspring, they behave «on the contrary»

Another problem that needs to be considered is the behavior of the animals that the robot must graze. Typical behavior for sheep is the active avoidance of the dog. But if there are lambs, the behavior of the sheep can change to the diametrically opposite - the attack. Defending posterity from a shepherd dog, the sheep will move towards it. Thus, the behavior of the shepherd robot must be controlled by algorithms and technologies that are not yet fully implemented.

There is no one to replace UAV in agriculture

But there is no doubt about the rationality of using UAVs. Miniature aircraft accelerate and simplify the collection of information about the state of pastures, fields with growing yields. Spending less fuel and time, a farmer can quickly get visual information about any place of interest. For example, this way you can find lost animals or decide on which field the grass is better. And in order to maximize the yield of winter crops, do not forget to order the service of foliar application of the UAN with the help of a self-propelled sprayer «Vodoley».

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