You are here

Drones, tractor hacks and robotic sprayers: the technology of farming

Farming may not be the first industry that comes to mind when we think of technological advancement, but that’s changing — fast. Agricultural giant John Deere, for instance, just spent $305 million to buy a robotics company. The farm machine manufacturer has been around for almost two centuries, but it too has felt the need to keep up with changing trends and tools, says Deanna Kovar, a marketing director for John Deere. Its acquisition, Blue River Technology, is a startup that makes agricultural robots capable of identifying weeds and other unwanted plants, and dosing them with high-precision sprays of herbicide. The…

Read More

Hairy e-skin to allow robotic limbs to ‘feel’

Scientists are developing robots with hairy electronic skin that can “feel” its surroundings, an advance that may give people with prosthetic limbs a better sense of touch. “We are interested in integrating the sensor into robotic arms for people with disabilities to give them the capability to feel a complex environment and handle things more easily,” said Lifeng Hao, a researcher at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China. Human skin relies on hair for its sense of touch. To mimic this, researchers built artificial hairs using magnetic cobalt-based microwires….

Read More