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Family *foreheadslap* moment

So, I gave a talk at an intradepartmental seminar last Friday morning, and at the end spent a bit of time chatting with someone who had a whole series of interrelated questions about the cricket nutrition experiments. He mentioned that as an undergraduate he'd worked with one of my postdoc advisors, and he was also familiar with my friend LT's work on male jumping spiders. I went to look him up today and realized another reason why he seemed so eerily familiar. He's a coauthor on a Science paper with my brother.

In this respect, it's also funny how I've wound up working on flying insects.

Edited to add...

In a slightly less forehead-slappy moment, on Friday's BFF ride and visit to Catahoua Coffee, sytharin said she thinks the future for agriculture holds swarming robots.

The more I think about this idea, the more I like it and am inclined to agree. If they can be built economically, they can operate at a better scale than most conventional industrial farming equipment, both in terms of reducing soil compaction and in terms of financial feasibility for smaller farming operations.

Comments

( 3 remarks — Remark )
randomdreams
Mar. 15th, 2016 04:29 am (UTC)
Automation is already taking a huge chunk out of labor involved for many types of agriculture, especially pest spraying and some types of tilling, so yeah I think you're right.
rebeccmeister
Mar. 15th, 2016 04:49 pm (UTC)
My sister was more specifically talking about applications for organic agriculture, where she said the labor costs for hand-weeding are what make it hard for smaller-scale organic farmers to make ends meet. So she's picturing a combination of technological developments in improvements to visual processing, power management (i.e. solar power/battery stuff), and manufacturing to keep costs down. Most modern farm equipment operates at such a huge scale that it's cost-prohibitive for small growers (plus, soil compaction).
randomdreams
Mar. 16th, 2016 12:31 am (UTC)
That's a neat idea, and one that in an ideal world I'd want to be working on.
( 3 remarks — Remark )

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