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Follow Me Sheep!

No more "One man and his Dog"
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Sheepdogs will be a thing of the past with "Follow Me Sheep!". When herding sheep it is well known that where the first sheep goes, the others will follow. The principal of trying to get sheep moving by chasing them with dogs is akin to driving a car by chasing it with a tank. What you need to do is get the front sheep to go where you want, and then the others will follow.

"Follow Me Sheep" is a unique robot (or real sheep with brain implant), which can be remote controlled to go where you want, causing the rest of the flock to follow. Sheep dogs can then live a life of luxury eating Pegigree Chum and urinating on lamp posts (or as it is the country, trees).

Bedford Van, May 17 2001

xrefer: Judas Goat http://w2.xrefer.com/entry/536322
Prototyping the remote-controlled sheep as a goat. I've heard this practice referenced for leading both sheep and cattle to slaughter, and for finding feral goats (the goat is fitted with a radio transceiver and easily found). [jutta, May 17 2001]

Bellwether http://www.amazon.c...os/ASIN/0553562967/
[egnor, May 17 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Judas goat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judas_goat
Jutta's link not working... [pashute, Nov 19 2012]

On a vaguely related note... Urban_20Remote_20Herding_20Array
[normzone, Nov 21 2012]


       What if the sheep A - Arn't watching that sheep B - Get pissed off with it leading them around all the time and ingore it or C - Choose to follow a different sheep.
CasaLoco, May 17 2001

       I think most herding animals have a preferred leader (I seem to think with sheep it's usually an older ewe), so engineering a leader-sheep should be doable--just breed an UberEwe and the sheep will follow or suffer the consequences. Until such an animal and its control mechanism are created, shepherds could prototype the idea by crawling around with a sheepskin on trying to get the flock to follow them. Sheepdogs could watch and laugh.
Dog Ed, May 17 2001

       You could have a Sheep with a big, pink neon sign on its bum saying FOLLOW ME!
Ivy, May 24 2001

       In the chasing the car experiment - you did test it didnt you? - surley you would have had some succes with that method. I propose we tie all the sheep together and put them on a frame and push it around with a tank. To avoid putting the sheepdogs out of work we could power the whole thing by treadmills.
RobertKidney, Jun 13 2001

       I really like this category, we don't see it enough.
po, Feb 23 2002

       Is this robot also able to negotiate high country terrain, shingle slides, and rescue sheep from a cliff face? Things that current sheepdogs and musterers face on a daily basis. Can it sniff out a sheep stuck in the scrub? Would it care if some lambs were left behind?   

       I don't see this as an improvement on the current system.   

       As the daughter of a high country musterer I don't see why you people keep trying to take the fun out of farming. To me it is comparable to this:   


       Surfers will be a thing of the past with this new robotic surfboard man. Now you can sit back and pee in the sand while you watch your surfboard being ridden from afar. Hope you enjoy picking sand out of your navels while you watch the world go by.
Helium, Feb 23 2002

       sheep that are far from the Helium crowd?
po, Feb 23 2002

       Is a robot, or indeed an implant, really necessary? When moving sheep from one field to another, we just used to call "trobhad" (which means come away or come with me, though I suppose what you actually shout is not that important) and shake a carrier bag, which was filled with bread. The sheep knew that if they followed the call they would get more food. Of course one or two would try to make a run for it when we were on the open road, but a few strategically-positioned grandchildren with big sticks soon sorted that out.   

       Now I realise this probably wouldn't work if you were trying to move 1,000 sheep or so, but neither would a robot leader!
salachair, Feb 25 2002

       <slightly off-topic>Evolutionary mystery: How did sheep ever survive in the first place without shepherds? If they got any dumber they'd be Ford engineers.</slightly off-topic>
RayfordSteele, Feb 25 2002

       I wish I knew why that is so funny!
po, Feb 25 2002

       Wild sheep aren't stupid herd animals. We made 'em that way through selective breeding.
Corona688, Dec 07 2002

       I want a car that runs away from tanks.
FlyingToaster, Nov 19 2012

       I would prefer robotics dogs, same results for real dogs.
piluso, Nov 19 2012


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