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Friday, February 24, 2017

Agricultural robot may be 'game changer' for crop growers, breeders.

A semiautonomous robot may soon be roaming agricultural fields gathering and transmitting real-time data about the growth and development of crops, information that crop breeders—and eventually farmers—can use to identify the genetic traits in plants likely to produce the greatest yields A team of scientists from the Carle R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois is developing the robot in partnership with researchers from Cornell University and Signetron Inc. Inspired by the autonomous rovers used to search collapsed buildings and other dangerous environments, the agricultural robot is propelled on continuous tracks, or miniature tank treads, which enable it to navigate through dry or muddy fields. Researchers guide it using GPS and a laptop computer. continue