A small remote-controlled vehicle proved effective at keeping cows away from overgrazed areas, and the animals showed few signs of fear or aggression
13 October 2022
Herding cattle using remote-controlled vehicles could be a welfare-friendly way to improve land management.
In a preliminary study, cows showed little fear as they walked away from the 16-centimetre-high cars rolling towards them, even the first time they saw the toys. The findings suggest farmers could use such simple, low-cost devices to prevent soil erosion, invasive plant growth and species loss caused by overgrazing, says Hiroki Anzai at the University of Miyazaki in Japan.
Ultimately, the researchers hope to develop autonomous herding robots that don’t have to be driven by remote control.
“I believe robotic herding, such as with …