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Robotics Technology

Coming Soon — Cyborg Farmers 172

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the all-your-veggies-are-belong-to-us dept.
palegray.net writes Robots.net covers an article about robotic exoskeletons for Japanese farmers. These exoskeletons would provide increased strength and support for manual labor intensive tasks. More information can also be found at robots-dreams.com. 'The robotic suit relies on ultrasonic motors along with various sensors and wireless networking gear. [...] The mass-produced version of the suit is expected to weigh in at 8 kilograms and cost about 200,000 yen.'"
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Coming Soon — Cyborg Farmers

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  • BS (Score:1, Interesting)

    by holmedog (1130941) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:14PM (#22037162)
    I call bullshit on the entire thing. For starters, your going to see exoskeletons in military long before you will out in the Japanese fields. We have these things already, they are called tractors.

    Also, at $1800 per, your not going to see people investing in these when they can just hire some cheap child labor.

  • ER/EI (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:45PM (#22037540) Journal
    So, how much energy does a cyber farm hand embody in its mining, construction, operation and maintenance, as opposed to a human and how many calories of food can it generate?

    Given the average farm hand needs 2000 calories to maintain homeostasis and at least that much for accoutrement (clothing, etc.), the machine has to run on less than 4000 calories a day of energy, including its energy investment as an object.

    I'm not saying one way or the other, but the analysis needs to be made before we can welcome such cyborg farmworker overlords.

    RS

  • much needed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Monday January 14, 2008 @04:38PM (#22039888)
    I'm not an expert in the region and growing of asian produce, however, when I was in Japan visiting a friend I was amazed at how low tech the farming is there something ca 1920 US. They were planting rice by hand. We were biking through rural areas and I noticed a lot of older people that were bent over at a near 90% angle on the side walks. I asked my friend what was wrong with them, and he said they were farmers who's backs have become deformed from bending over all the time.

    The reason for this stupidity according to my friend: Japan (as admittedly a lot of countries do) has protectionist policies in place forcing rice and other crops to have to be produced in Japan. The cost of japanese rice versus the average is 7 times, but they have to produce it. Apparently it is cheaper to ruin the backs of people in a first world country then to risk not having control of your food supply - because you buy it from the close third world countries - in the advent of a war. Admittedly if I was like Japan and had crazies for neighbours (North Korea/China, government not the people) whom I recently pissed off by invading I might be worried about war preparedness as well.

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