In a valiant effort to unite the forces of robotics and booze, a team of experts hailing from several European nations is developing a machine called VineRobot that will help vineyard owners better manage their business. The blog Science 2.0 has the scoop:
"A European consortium is developing an unmanned robot equipped with non-invasive advanced sensors and artificial intelligence systems, which will help manage vineyards.
The robot will be able to provide reliable, fast and objective information on the state of the vineyards to growers, such as vegetative development, water status, production and grape composition."
The Science 2.0 news staff notes that VineRobot's major benefit is the swift collection of large swaths of data to be interpreted and analyzed by winemakers and distributors. A Spanish news outlet recently did a short report on the project's progress (subtitles are available):
There are two key things to take away here. First, this robot's noninvasive tools and programming mean it's more a monitor than a winemaker. Its job is to collect data and present it in a way that is easily interpreted by the real decision-makers. VineRobot doesn't actually make the wine, which leads to point number two: VineRobot's prime directive represents a greater cultural shift toward businesses becoming irrevocably dependent on tech-driven data. An automated vineyard manager isn't just a cheaper alternative to a human. The hope is that VineRobot will allow winemakers to ascend to a previously unreachable level of efficiency that can lead to fresher, tastier, and more bountiful harvests.
Read more at Science 2.0
Photo: Fair use, via the above blog.