Robot ‘duck’ helps farmers in Japan keep rice fields clear of weeds

For centuries, rice farmers in Asia have been using birds as a natural solution to weeds and pests on their rice fields. While paddling around in flooded paddy fields, ducks tear up weeds and snack on insects, with their manure even acting as additional fertilizer.

In the 21st century, this practice has fallen out of use, which is why an engineer working for Japanese carmaker Nissan has come up with a high-tech answer to an age-old problem – an adorable robot alternative to the paddy field ducks. Called Aigamo – like the breed of duck its creation was inspired from – the robot weighs 1.5 kilograms, and is about the size of a large robot vacuum cleaner. Two rotating brushes on its underside take the place of a duck’s feet, which oxygenate the water by stirring it up and preventing weeds from taking root.

While there aren’t any plans for commercialization yet, the robot could potentially help a culturally important industry survive in the 21st century, as rice farming in Japan is threatened by declining consumption and an aging population.

Solution News Source

Robot ‘duck’ helps farmers in Japan keep rice fields clear of weeds

For centuries, rice farmers in Asia have been using birds as a natural solution to weeds and pests on their rice fields. While paddling around in flooded paddy fields, ducks tear up weeds and snack on insects, with their manure even acting as additional fertilizer.

In the 21st century, this practice has fallen out of use, which is why an engineer working for Japanese carmaker Nissan has come up with a high-tech answer to an age-old problem – an adorable robot alternative to the paddy field ducks. Called Aigamo – like the breed of duck its creation was inspired from – the robot weighs 1.5 kilograms, and is about the size of a large robot vacuum cleaner. Two rotating brushes on its underside take the place of a duck’s feet, which oxygenate the water by stirring it up and preventing weeds from taking root.

While there aren’t any plans for commercialization yet, the robot could potentially help a culturally important industry survive in the 21st century, as rice farming in Japan is threatened by declining consumption and an aging population.

Solution News Source

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