Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Watch: This robot could soon be herding cattle for farmers!

FarmIreland Team

Published 30/11/2016 | 17:00

Meet SwagBot – the latest in agricultural robots that could soon be giving a helping hand to farmers.

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Designed by a team led by the University of Sydney, SwagBot can herd cows, drive over all kinds of terrain, pull a small trailer and keep an eye on the cattle too!

In its first field test this year to see if it could handle the rough terrain of an Australian cattle sation and it proved successful according to the research team and now the focus of future trials will be how it interacts on a farm and to ‘teach’ it to identify problems with animals. 

SwagBot is fitted with a camera that can relay pictures back, but it would come into its own if it could identify sick or injured animals. To do that it will be fitted with sensors that can detect the temperature of cattle and assess the gait of animals to see if they are walking with a limp.

The future SwagBot may also be able to tell whether cattle have enough grass to eat.

The team have previously worked on robots that have monitored crop health, but this would be the first mobile robot to assess animal health.

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