Food & Drink

Wine Robot 'Wall-Ye' Performs Complex Vineyards Tasks For $32,000 (VIDEO)


Take a look at Wall-Ye, a robot designed to tend vineyards.

It doesn't come cheap -- it's cost is currently set at an astounding $32,000 (€25,000) -- but it's capable of complex tasks, according to the AFP:

Wall-Ye draws on tracking technology, artificial intelligence and mapping to move from vine to vine, recognise plant features, capture and record data, memorise each vine, synchronise six cameras and guide its arms to wield tools.

Wall-Ye is also being programmed to take on labor-intensive jobs that no one else wants to take on, from pruning and de-suckering (removing unproductive young shoots) to recording important data on the soil, fruit and vine stocks.

In an AFP-produced video, winemaker Claire Gazeau-Montrasi expressed an interest in the machine, which could help understaffed vineyards. "I think it could be a bonus to have a little robot who does the boring jobs for us," she said. "The ones that require the least brain power."

The robot is still in development, but French wine producers like Chateau Mouton-Rothschild are already signing up for test runs.

And, it bears a striking resemblance to what (we think) inspired its name, the title character from Disney's "Wall-E."

Check out Wall-Ye in action in AFP's video below.

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