A robotic excavator does mans dirty work.

Digging the Foundation for AI

The little robot tractor catching attention in San Francisco digs holes and clears construction sites, relying on coordinates sent to the Bobcat’s GPS. Operators need only communicate to the tractor the size of the hole they want, then stand back. Not unlike a self-driving car, the robo Bobcat gets its programming and works without a break–unlike the typical operator. According Noah Ready Campbell, founder and CEO of Built Robotics, “The thing that we’re doing which is different and that’s a little bit harder than self-driving cars is we’re actually manipulating our environment,”

The robo-tractor uses lidar—that is, it spews lasers—to see the world directly in front of it. The difference being, this lidar is specially designed to work in the high-vibration, high-impact world of construction excavation. The lasers also allow the robot to measure the amount of material it’s scooped up.

Campbell went on to say a labor shortage in the construction industry is well documented by Chamber of Commerce reports. He says agriculture will also benefit through increased production, decreased costs and fewer accidents. More companies are expected to turn to robots to fill their needs for those reasons.

read more at www.wired.com