A robotic dog, called the Super Monster Wolf, will soon protect all farms across Japan from wild animals that feed on important crops and other harvest. The robot has real-life looking fur, white fangs, and an expression that is ready to devour anything that threatens its territory.
The Super Monster Wolf is designed a feet shorter than the majority of crops found in the country to effectively camouflage within the field. It is built with infrared ray sensor that can detect wild animals nearby. The second it senses that a threat is approaching, its eyes light up red and it starts to bark, then growls, and finally howls to scare the predators away.
The robot can produce 18 different sounds, including gunshot and human voice. It has been doing its guarding job perfectly, according to chief of the Kisarazu City Agricultural Cooperative Chihiko Umezewa. He added that the robotic wolf had in fact proven to be more effective than an electric fence after a successful trial in a farm in Kisarazu City in Japan.
When Super Monster Wolf hits mass production, it will cost $4,840 each. Farmers will also be given the option to get them on a monthly lease which will be cheaper.
Japan has been looking to ramp up its technological advancement in its agriculture industry. The country has also been seeing a rise of younger and tech savvy farmers since 2017. Young Japanese are now keen to pursue farming, bringing with them their modern tech skills with them.
Reuters reported last year that Japan’s farm industry saw more than 23,000 farmers under the age of 49 in 2015. It was an increase from 18,000 from 2010.
Kazunuki Ohizumi, professor emeritus at Miyagi University, told Reuters that the future of Japanese agriculture will continue to welcome large-scale agri-business that are employing the latest in farming technology.
“Large-sized farmers are the ones to revitalize Japan’s agriculture, which will be changed significantly. Of course, IT, robots and artificial intelligence are needed, which will generate jobs to handle such technologies,” the professor explained.
One of these tech-savvy farmers is Hiroki Iwasa, a 40-year-old IT entrepreneur who managed to grow strawberries in greenhouses where computers take the role of “farm managers.” His computers set the temperature and humidity to optimum growing conditions. The computers can also time the water sprayer to work at precise times.
For 41-year-old farmer Shuichi Yokota, his fellow farmers should aim to become as globally competitive as Toyota and Honda.