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"It's hard to tell stories about critters that are not human. John W. Campbell tried it, in "Twilight," and everybody says it's a wonderful story, and nobody ever reads it twice."
- Jerry Pournelle

Agricultural Robot Pest Controller  
  An agricultural robot specifically designed to perform pest control activities.  

At the start of the movie Runaway, Jack Ramsay and his new partner are called in to work with an agricultural robot that is out of control and zigzagging around in a corn field.

He gets the lowdown from his staff.


(Agbot emerges from the stalks)

"What's the model? 7799 agricultural?"

"Got yourself a runaway, Jack?"

"...pest controller. The CPU is an old 8088."

"Any armament?"

"Just the claw. And it's only programmed to look for things smaller than an inch."

From Runaway, by Michael Crichton.
Published by Tri-Star Pictures in 1985
Additional resources -

This movie agro-bot (or just agbot) has a very nicely programmed sense of touch; it can pick a larva off a leaf easily.


(Agro-bot performs pest control)

It turns out that Crichton or his special effects guys must have been paying attention to the robotics news. The first intelligent agricultural robot (as opposed to farm machinery) was tested in use for tomato harvesting in Tampa, Florida in 1983.

Read these related stories; AgBots: Agricultural Robots Take The Field and Robotic Tomato Harvester Ready For Space. Take a look at an interesting journal article on Agro-Robotics here; it includes a set of links to some interesting papers.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Runaway
  More Ideas and Technology by Michael Crichton
  Tech news articles related to Runaway
  Tech news articles related to works by Michael Crichton

Agricultural Robot Pest Controller-related news articles:
  - HortiBot - Autonomous Weed 'n Feed AgBot
  - Lettuce-Bot Weed-Killing Robot Funded
  - Laser-Armed Robots To Do Weed Control

Articles related to Agriculture
Ladybird Agricultural Robot Is Solar-Powered
Lettuce-Bot Weed-Killing Robot Funded
Detroit's Urban Agriculture Ordinance
Prospero, Robotic Farmer

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