Rice-Planting Robots Rescue Japanese Farmers

Japan's agricultural workforce has a mean age of 65 years, resulting in an increase in unplanted land. How will it be possible to expand Japan's agriculture? Robots, of course.

(Agriculture 'rescue robot')

The experimental plots at the agricultural research center in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture are planted automatically by riderless machines.

Fans of science fiction movies recall the 1972 movie Silent Running, in which Bruce Dern used agricultural robots.

(Gardening robots from Silent Running)

Philip K. Dick fans recall the robot gardener from his 1955 short story War Veteran.

To his right a robot gardener worked over the same patch of grass again and again, its metallic eye-lenses intently fastened on the wizened, hunched-over figure of the old man.

Update Feb-28-2015: I found an earlier and more complete reference; see the article for robot farmer from The Turning Wheel by Philip K. Dick (19540. End update.

Via Asahi.

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