Australian researchers have carried out a successful field test of a four-wheeled electric robot, which they believe could transform the way farmers monitor and herd their stock.
The SwagBot, developed by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, is an omnidirectional electric robotic ground vehicle, designed to herd cattle in particular.
The machine has been in development for a number of years, but last month the research team put the vehicle through its paces during a more challenging field test.
See also: Researchers develop cow herder robot
A video of the test shows the robot successfully navigating its way across rough terrain and herding a group of cattle across a field.
At another point, the vehicle is shown towing a small trailer, proving that the machine may have a use beyond herding stock.
“It [SwagBot] has successfully demonstrated the ability to operate in the rugged cattle station environment,” said the research team.
“Future research will be applied toward autonomous farm activities including monitoring and interacting with plants and animals.”
The battery-operated, waterproof SwagBot can reach speeds of 15-20km/hr (9-12mph) on flat terrain.