Rounding up the cows with a robot herder

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

cattle dog
The Australian Cattle Dog might soon find itself out of a job! I wonder if it’s staring jealously at Rover this very moment…

Move over rover, because there’s a new dog in herding town called… well… Rover! The four-wheeled device, tested by a team at Sydney University, moved a herd of cows from a field to a dairy. The cows apparently didn’t mind the robot, and walked calmly in the direction that the machine was hustling them towards.

Since robots are already used in the milking process, researchers wanted to see where else they could be put to work for dairy farming.

Rover was created by taking a device normally used for monitoring fruit and trees on farms, and adapting it for robot-bovine interactions. Although the current prototype, or early version, requires a human pilot, the team hopes to develop a fully automated one in the future.

The tech might even be used to gather data on soil and check for issues with electric fences, ensuring that the cows are eating healthy grass and not escaping.

Rover could also save humans from getting hurt, since the quad bikes cattle farmers drive to round up their livestock are one of the leading causes of injury!

Featured image courtesy of The University of Sydney. Image of Australian Cattle Dog courtesy of Zingpix on Wikipedia