• About the Site

    What happens when two groups who have never talked before share conversation space? What ideas grow out of that generative process? What processes of guidance and mediation guide disparate individuals, communities, and specialized knowledge holders to fruitful imaginations of how technology can impact community? How best can we focus this conversation space towards a specific goal: speculation regarding DIY small-scale robotics technologies and their impact on local organic farming systems? This project is a collaboration between Georgia Institute of Technology and Atlanta's independent food community, rogueApron. This research is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. More information on the City as Learning Lab. Follow Us on Twitter
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Future Robotics Technologies Will Shape Production Process of Vegges

Says the folks responsible for that future:

Manipulation is the key issue for robotics to apply to the agricultural industry,” said Jeff Legault, associate director of business development at the National Robotics Engineering Center, Carnegie Mellon University.

Creating robots with the ability to harvest produce as quickly and gently has humans won’t be possible for at least another decade, Legault said, but will change the way companies produce fruits and vegetables when it is widely adopted. ThePacker.com

This would be an interesting guy to hear more from.

Carnegie Mellon’s SnackBot

Although the focus of this site is exploring agricultural robots, we will definitely make room for some sweet, sweet robot butlers.

<blockquote>CMU’s Snackbot is a roving wheeled ‘bot who’s primary purpose is to roam the halls of the University’s buildings, delivering tasty treast to students and faculty. Snackbot not only drives around bringing snacks, he also brings plenty of goodwill, with a pleasant-sounding voice communication system and calm demeanor unlikely to be rattled by even the most demanding snack customer. He features a sophisticated “multi-sensor fusion algorithms” which let him understand where he’s going, navigate through crowds, and can autonomously learn new objects.

– <a href=”http://technabob.com/blog/2009/10/18/snackbot-snack-delivering-robot/”>Technabob.com</a></blockquote&gt;

MORE: <a href=”http://www.snackbot.org/team-public.html”>Carnegie Mellon’s Snackbot</a>.

World’s Fastest Picking Robot: Quattro

One of the many challenges in imagining how robotics can aid organic farming is the question of Why. Why should technologies intervene in age-old production techniques? Isn’t modern organic farming a direct response and alternative to industrial food production?

These are great questions, and ones that I am sure this project will have to grapple with time and time again.

The introduction of the Quattro robot – billed the world’s fastest robot – this past week is for me ample reason to pursue this line of inquiry. It seems clear that as technologies geared toward industrial production accelerate, organic farming would be well served by creating small-scale, eco-friendly technologies to help ease the workload.

More on Quattro:

“The Quattro robot is the fastest robot in the world and its advantages over conventional robots not only include faster cycles and settling times but increased payload and more consistent performance throughout the workspace,” said Rush LaSelle, director of global sales and marketing for Adept Technology, Inc. – Adept Technology press release

Autonomous Agriculture Robots via Fuji

Autonomous Agriculture Robot

In the field of giant autonomous robotics designed for agriculture, we have

Robots now enter the agriculture industry, too. First the award-winning rice-transplanting robot, now this: Major Japanese conglomerate Fuji Heavy Industries has developed an agricultural robot that can tend fields autonomously.

The company says the robot is the first 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).

Fuji Heavy says the robot can grow fruit and vegetables independently, and it can even be used inside greenhouses. The company plans to start selling the machine next fiscal year for around $100,000.
Via Crunchgear.com