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Hail the Robotic Farmers and Pilots of the Future?

May 3, 2012

If robotic pilots and farmers mean no more underpaid/mistreated immigrants and airplane pilots falling asleep or texting while bored, then I hail. If it means patrolling other countries without their permission and perpetuating pesticide spraying (and several other factors), then I disdain.

Here is what an article at WIRED has to say:

Fighter pilot Mary “Missy” Cummings saw it coming while landing her F/A-18 supersonic jet on a Navy aircraft carrier — the world-changing disruption barreling toward the present.

Instead of landing the multi-million-dollar machine on the small deck of the ship herself in the 1990s, a computer accomplished the tricky feat for her.

“Here the computer was taking off better than I could, landing itself better than I could and doing the mission better than I ever could,” Cummings said Tuesday during the Wired Disruptive by Design business conference. “It was really humiliating. That was what used to make me better than everyone else.”

Eventually Cummings took a step back, told herself the heyday of fighter pilots was over and joined the robots. She’s now an aeronautics professor at MIT working to tackle the monotonous work of flying, farming and other industries with autonomous drones.

Excerpt of an article written by Dave Mosher, at WIRED. Continue HERE

Prospero is the working prototype of an Autonomous Micro Planter (AMP) that uses a combination of swarm and game theory and is the first of four steps. It is meant to be deployed as a group or “swarm”. The other three steps involve autonomous robots that tend the crops, harvest them, and finally one robot that can plant, tend, and harvest–autonomously transitioning from one phase to another.

Prospero is controlled with a Parallax Propeller chip mounted on a Schmart Board. Its body is designed by Lynxmotion and the orginal programming allows it to walk autonomously in any direction while avoiding objects with its duel ultrasonic Ping))) without turning it’s body. Text via YouTube

Drones are planes that fly without a human pilot. The Obama administration has used drones in patrolling Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia and Libya. PHOTO: Flickr/James Gordon

U.S. Drones Patrolling Its Skies Provoke Outrage in Iraq

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