Flesh dogs are great, there’s no denying that. Your best friend, your early alarm system and even a way of staying warm during the colder nights of winter with some prime pet cuddles. Flesh dogs are excellent but they also have a fatal flaw: they’re not metal and controlled by a computer. Sure, that’s less fun to cuddle, but robots can do so many things. For example, spinning it off the top of the dome without context, herding sheep. You’ve got to train meat dogs to herd sheep and that whole process can take ages! A robot though? Well, that’s just a matter of simple programming.
By simple programming, we actually mean very complicated programming because Boston Dynamics has got a bunch of smart people and its four-legged robot dog Spot is a very good boy indeed.
To highlight a recently announced partnership with Boston Dynamics, new Zealand based robotics company Rocos has unveiled a video of a robot doing exactly what you’d expect from a highly advanced automaton stationed in New Zealand: herding sheep. Describing the advantages of agricultural technology and the robust ways machines are evolving to make farmers’ lives easier, Rocos shows off its perky little bot doing a range of handiwork around the farm, including inspecting the quality of product yields and generating real-time maps of an area.
Yet undoubtedly the coolest thing was seeing Spot herding a large group of sheep over what appeared to be some pretty uneven terrain. The footage from the video does resemble some kind of weirdly idyllic dystopia akin to the works of Swedish artist Simon Stalenhag and his unity of pastoral tranquillity and futuristic, industrial automation. Sorry, slipped back into that humanities degree for a second.
Give the video a watch, it’s genuinely very cool to see that wobbly little guy help around the farm by…walking around and looking at stuff. That’ll do Spot. That’ll do.