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"If you turn away from the natural gifts that God has given you, or the universe has given you, you're going to grow old too soon."
- Ray Bradbury

Robot Farmer  
  A humanoid robot used for agriculture.  

Below his ship, the barren countryside spread out, ugly and bleak. Great red spots that hadn't yet been overgrown, and slag surfaces were still visible - but by this time most ruins were covered by soil and crabgrass. He could see men and robots farming; villages, countless tiny brown circles in the green fields; occasional ruins of ancient cities - gaping sores like blind mouths, eternally open to the sky. They would never close, not now.

Ahead was the Detroit area, named, so it ran, for some now-forgotten spiritual leader...

He dropped his ship down. An open field lay to his right; a robot farmer was plowing with a metal hook welded to its waist... He dropped his ship down. An open field lay to his right; a robot farmer was plowing with a metal hook welded to its waist, a section torn off some discarded machine. It stopped dragging the hook and gazed up in amazement, as Sung-wu landed the ship awkwardly and bumped to a halt.

"Clearness be with you," the robot rasped obediently, as Sung-wu climbed out.

Sung-wu gathered up his bundle of reports and papers and stuffed them in a briefcase. He snapped the ship's lock and hurried off toward the ruins of the city. The robot went back to dragging the rusty metal hook through the hard ground, its pitted body bent double with the strain, working slowly, silently, uncomplaining.

Technovelgy from The Turning Wheel, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Science Fiction Stories in 1954
Additional resources -

See also the Farming of Trantor; after the fall of the city planet, the ruling center of the galaxy in Isaac Asimov's classic Foundation trilogy from the 1950's:


(Farming Trantor in 'Second Foundation' by Isaac Asimov)

Trantor was a world in dregs and rebirth. Set like a faded jewel... it alternately dreamed of past and future...

Until the decay of the Empire eventually reached it... its drooping powers had been bent back upon themselves and broken forever. In the blasting ruin of death, the metal shell... wrinkled and crumpled into an aching mock of its own grandeur.

The survivors tore up the metal plating and sold it... for seed and cattle. The soil was uncovered once more and the planet returned to its beginnings. In the spreading areas of primitive agriculture, it forgot its intricate and colossal past.

Compare to the automatic cultivators from Piracy Preferred (1930) by John W. Campbell, the conscious farm machines from The Hidden Colony (1935) by Otfrid von Hanstein, the field minder from Who Can Replace A Man (1963) by Brian Aldiss, the Robomule from Bill the Galactic Hero (1965) by Harry Harrison, the self-guided tractor from At the Bottom of a Hole (1966) by Larry Niven, the robot crab from Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson and the agricultural robot pest controller from Runaway (1985) by Michael Crichton.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Turning Wheel
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to The Turning Wheel
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Robot Farmer-related news articles:
  - Rice-Planting Robots Rescue Japanese Farmers
  - Prospero, Robotic Farmer
  - Life In Detroit's 'Agrihood' - The First In The U.S.
  - FarmBot, Your Personal Robotic Farmer

Articles related to Agriculture
MK-V Smart Tractor - Fully Electric, Farmer Optional
Vertical Farm In Singapore's Output Is 1.5 Tons Per Day
Mashambas Skyscraper Farm Design Wins
Self-Driving Tractors From China Plan Ahead

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