robot-sheepdogRobots do seem to gain a higher level of acceptance in humanity, where they now serve in a restaurant in China, while another research pinpoints that humans are far more likely to obey commands from a robot than a direct human superior when working on a similar project. Well, in the case of shepherding, robots too, could very well get the job done in the future thanks to researchers from Swansea University have come up with a mathematical shepherding model that is touted to open up new doors for a robot to actually gather and herd livestock. This particular algorithm can also be applied when it comes to crowd control measures, not to mention cleaning up the environment.

This particular model was developed after an entire flock of sheep were outfitted with a backpack that carried very accurate GPS devices, and the same GPS tracking device was also worn by a sheepdog. After taking into consideration all movements and using a computer simulation to analyze the results, an algorithm was born, which could be implemented into a robot shepherd so that it informs actual sheep on where to go, just like a real sheepdog – albeit that this robotic model does not wee or poop.

Apart from that, it could be used in other situations as explained by Dr. Andrew King, “This could be used in a variety of situations. For example in a smoky room where people can’t see the exit, a robot could direct people towards the exit. The robot could be stationed in the corner of a room and be activated by a fire alarm.”

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