Autonomous Agricultural Robot

This autonomous agricultural robot is ready to tend fields all by itself, growing fruits and vegetables. Shucks, I could do that when I was eight.

However, Fuji Heavy Industries says that this robot is the first truly autonomous robot of its kind. It runs on gas and is 2m long, 60cm wide and 1m high. It emits and receives laser signals to orient itself, gauging the distance to special reflective plates (which are placed at regular intervals of about 10 meters).

(Autonomous agricultural robot)

Science fiction fans remember R2D2 and C3PO, of course; but although these robots were purchased for agricultural use, that was not their primary function (as C3PO might put it). The robot gardening crab from William Gibson's 1984 novel Neuromancer is a good example of an elegantly functional "ag robot."

The Fuji Heavy Industries agricultural robot may be autonomous, but can it handle common pests like hungry insects? Fuji needs to take a look at Michael Crichton's 1985 movie Runaway, and bring its 7799 agriculture pest control robot to life.

(Agbot emerges from the stalks)

Update 15-Dec-2009: Fans of the 1972 movie Silent Running will also remember (as Peter Jacobs did in the comments) that Bruce Dern took tended his garden with the help of robots.

(Gardening robots from Silent Running)

(End update.) Via Crunchgear.

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