Computer: Telepresence
Remote Farmer   (+2)  [vote for, against]
Solar Powered Telepresence farming

This idea is pretty much as the title suggests. It all started with an idea I got from watching Wall-E where a lot of little robots were left to clean-up the Earth by compacting garbage into cubes, but really how does that help? What you really need is a little robot that would go around and plant trees, pull weeds, water plants, etc.

What if, like the rich back in Victorian times, you had a piece of land in the country that just existed to grow food for you. Do low maintenance stuff like nut and fruit trees, hazelnut bushes and some free range chickens in chicken tractors (link). Everyday you had to move the chickens, water the trees, plant some seeds, etc. So you run wireless internet out to your bit of land or run it thru an LTE link and have a little robot with a PTZ camera, an auger, an extendable arm with a grabber and a clipper, a weedwacker arm and a water tank. Basically a modified MARS rover, but on Earth designed to garden. In the winter it could automatically plow the walk.

Every day you could check on the chickens, move them to a new location, cut a few weeds, refill the drip waterers on the trees and then go back to your regular job where your boss doesn't want you to telecommute. Then on weekends you could drive out to the country and visit all your good works. IN ten years you could then retire to a lush little well tended valley full of trees, fruit and veggies.

Oh and it could also be equipped with a motion sensor, a water gun, a cattle prod and a laser, depending on the range and level of deterrent you are looking to employ to protect your homestead.
-- MisterQED, Jun 12 2014

Salatin Style Chicken Tractor http://www.wellfedh...icken-tractor-plans
[MisterQED, Jun 12 2014]

Mark Shepard and STUN http://www.resilien...ect-by-mark-shepard
[MisterQED, Jun 13 2014]

Well intentioned but I think somebody who farms for a living would assert that this over-simplifies the amount of involvement required.
-- normzone, Jun 12 2014

<unapologetic blatant racism>

A farmer's wife complains that he's always out in the fields, working.

So he goes to a farm merchant and leases a set of shiny stainless-steel agricultural robots.

His wife is happy to have him at home as he runs the whole farm from his laptop, but then complains about the light that glances off the shiny robots and dazzles her when she looks out of the window.

That night, while the robots are recharging in the barn, the farmer goes round and paints them all over with black paint.

The next morning, half of the robots don't show up for work ...

</unapologetic blatant racism>
-- 8th of 7, Jun 12 2014

<quietly steps out of the crossfire, turns on camera>
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 12 2014

I'm not sure, but I imagine some aspects of this (at least control of irrigation) are widely used on large farms.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 12 2014

When you dial up the racism *that* high, [8th], everyone assumes it's ironic, and ignores it.
-- pertinax, Jun 13 2014

Racism? No, this is a cautionary tale regarding sound electrical connector masking practices before applying conductive substances. Safety first.

I looked up chicken tractors. A good idea...
-- normzone, Jun 13 2014

//Well intentioned but I think somebody who farms for a living would assert that this over-simplifies the amount of involvement required.// Please realize that this is a specific type of farming or really agroforestry designed around lower outputs but significantly lower labor, based on replacing high labor annual crops with perennial trees for fruit and nut production based on what Mark Shepard calls STUN, Sheer Total and Utter Neglect. (link)
-- MisterQED, Jun 13 2014

//The next morning, half of the robots don't show up for work ... //

I don't get it.
-- the porpoise, Jun 13 2014

Half of the robots didn't get it either ...
-- 8th of 7, Jun 13 2014

I still don't get it... I like a good joke as much as the next person. Why don't you explain it?
-- the porpoise, Jun 13 2014

I think that the black paint covers over their cameras so they can no longer navgate properly. And not only is the paint conductive but it also blocks some parta of the radio spectrum further impairing their navigational abilities. Also the paint dribbles down into the bearings so they have difficulty operating their wheels and arms. The combination means that many of them break down before managing to exit the storage hanger.
-- pocmloc, Jun 13 2014

<Marks [poc] down as a long-term Radio 4 listener>
-- 8th of 7, Jun 13 2014

Would there be any way to hook this thing up to Farmville? At least it would make farmville less of a waste of time.
-- mofosyne, Jun 14 2014

I was going to suggest a solar powered chicken tractor, but found this solar powered robot doing a whole world of stuff and moving the tractor when it had a spare moment.
-- popbottle, Jun 10 2015

So what is a chicken tractor, if not a tractor designed to be driven by a chicken?
-- notexactly, Jun 15 2015

random, halfbakery