This robot ‘duck’ could help Japanese rice farmers keep paddy fields clear of weeds

For centuries, rice farmers in Asia have used ducks as a natural alternative to pesticides. 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 is not widespread, but a new technological twist on the method could change that.

An engineer working for Japanese carmaker Nissan has built a robot alternative to paddy field ducks. As reported by and Nerdist, he’s currently testing his prototype in the Yamagata Prefecture in northeastern Japan. It seems it’s just a DIY project at the moment, with no plans for commercialization or even any data on how effective it is, but it’s a fascinating use of technology…

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from The Verge – All Posts