An engineer working for carmaker Nissan has developed a robot that keeps paddy fields clear of weeds.
Rice farmers in Asia have in the past always used real ducks as an alternative to pesticides to keep weeds out of their rice fields. The ducks tear up the weeds, eat harmful insects and their manure acts as a fertiliser.
An engineer working for Japanese carmaker Nissan has now developed the so-called Aigamo robot; a robot duck that reportedly does the same things a real duck would do. The prototype is said to be tested in the Yamagata Prefecture in northeastern Japan. It’s unclear whether the Aigamo robot duck will ever go into production.
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The robot weighs 1.5 kilograms and is, according to Nippon.com, about 60 centimeters square. It identifies its location mainly through GPS to navigate across rice paddies. It is equipped with 2 rotating rubber brushes on its underside that act as duck’s feet, which oxygenate the water by stirring it up and preventing weeds from taking root. You can watch the robot in action in the video underneath.