To provide the cows with proper physical activity and feeding, a family of farmers from Australia takes them to the pasture every day. There is nothing new in this, except for «standard» problems of animal husbandry - cows know the voice of the shepherd and do not react to the voices of other people. In the case of his illness or absence, difficulties arise with the management of the herd. The robot cowboy has been developed, in order the head of the family could rest from such a daily duty.
The video shows the appearance of this machine, designed to work on any soil and in any weather. The first acquaintance was not very smooth - many cows reacted cautiously to the robot. But further in the course went a simple trick - the host of the herd stand behind the robot and called to his animals.
Training included transportation of food using this robot. Further, through the loudspeakers the host's voice was broadcasted and the cows were trained to follow the cowboy robot. Thus, the burden of the owner of the herd is reduced - the operator of this machine can control the movement of the entire herd without physically being present on the field.
This event is still a single and is not in its pure form «robotic». To train cows to follow the robot is required, firstly, the robot, and secondly, training. Making sure that the animals used to follow the robot, the farmer risked releasing the herd outside the fenced area.
Theoretically, for small farms such an approach should be a good solution. The management of robot through the Internet will allow the owner to leave any distance from the farm, if only there is an access to the Internet. And if the process of grazing is programmed, and its execution will occur automatically, then the presence of operator would not be neccessary.
Apparently, such a solution will be complex, and should be at the intersection of livestock, robotics and IT.