|Japanese robot-wolf to protect farms
Technology has come to the rescue of Japanese farmers. For thousands of years they have tried to keep animals away from their farms. However, engineers have invented the "Super Monster Wolf" to finally scare away wild animals that want to eat crops of rice, pumpkin or sweet potato. Super Monster Wolf is a solar-powered scarecrow robot that looks like a real wolf. It has lookalike wolf hair, big scary teeth and red LED eyes with infrared sensors. It also has 48 different wolf howls and other noises so animals never get used to it. Super Monster Wolf will be used to keep animals like wild boar and deer out of rice paddies, farms and fruit orchards. Farmers lose millions of dollars of crops every year to hungry animals.
Members of Japan's agricultural association (JA) took part in trials of the Super Monster Wolf in nine locations across Japan. JA spokesman Chikao Umezawa reported that the robot wolf significantly reduced crop losses. He said it was more effective than an electric fence at keeping animals out. The robot can sense movement up to one kilometre away and immediately make its scary sounds. The robot will start being mass produced from next month. It will be 65cm long and 50cm high. The price is $4,800 but farmers will have the option of renting the wolf by the month. Japan's farmers are hoping that this new electronic aid will finally stop wild animals eating their crops.