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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Robot Wolf Protects Japanese Crops

Yes, that headline sounds like something straight out of a crappy science fiction movie.

Why would a wolf protect a farmer’s anything?
When will the robot wolf turn on its human owner?
What the heck is worth guarding on this farm?

We can easily enough answer the third question - crops. Yes… the robot wolf is set out in Japanese fields to protect crops from the destructive foraging behavior of the country’s wild boars.

Rahhhh-thaaaaa.

No.. not boors, boars… oink-oink.

Its official name is “Super Monster Wolf” - but I'm just going to refer to it as the robot wolf, because I think that name it was given is stupid.

If you would like to know why a robot wolf is being used rather than a real Japanese wolf, read my old article on the subject - HERE.

The robot costs ¥514,000, which is a respectable US$4,810.23 (as of Friday at 2PM EST - check out www.XE.com for quick and easy global exchange rates). No, I don not get any kickback from the site - I just think it's great and use it all the time when I have to convert monies here in this blog.

According to the Japan Agricultural Cooperative who have been testing the robot wolf in fields near Kisarazu-shi (Kisarazu City) in Chiba-ken (Chiba Prefecture) since last July, there certainly seems to have been a marked decrease in the amount of crop loss thanks to the equipment.

Apparently the robot wolf is able to patrol about one kilometer of the field, with the Cooperative suggesting that it is actually more effective than an electric fence.

What… boars being shocked by electric fences? Mmmmm, bacon…

The robot wolf is 65-centimeters long, 50-centimeters high, and is covered in a realistic fur coat.

I’m unsure if the head mask is realistic, as far as looking like a real wolf… I mean, I’ve seen wolves at the zoo and on TV… and whatever the heck this mask is modeled on, it ain’t no wolf.

Still, whenever the robot wold detects an animal approaching, its eyes light up (so that it becomes visible in day or night), and then it begins to howl - obviously a recording, and not some AI (artificial intelligence)-learned behavior.

Apparently the robot wolf has 48 different sounds, including wold howls and human voices.

I saw Game of Thrones… those boars aren’t afraid of humans… they might even charge if they heard a human voice.

Why so many vocal options? Boars, akin to the pig, are reasonably intelligent creatures, and if the same sound was constantly emitted, they would become used to it and become less afraid. The audio change is to keep the boars (and other creatures) on their hoofs.

The wolf is solar-rechargeable… which sounds great in theory, but after having lived in Japan, it’s not always sunny in the land of the rising sun… or maybe that’s just because I cast a shadow wherever I traveled in Japan.

Got a drought? Have no doubt, Gajin-san will make it rain. You pay for his travel, accommodations, food and drink (careful, he’s a hebbi drinker), and condoms, though you may have to deal with his mother in Canada for that.

Robot wolves on Japanese farms? What could possibly go wrong?

And, because who doesn't like cartoons, here's a short outtake of classic cartoon: The Three Little Bops... my all-time favorite cartoon! They even mention the Big Bad Wolf's red eyes! I guess the robot wolf designers got that part correct!


Somewhere, a robot wolf is out standing in its field,
Andrew Joseph

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