Robots Could Learn How to Herd Humans Like Sheep

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Sheepdogs use just two simple rules to round up large herds of sheep, scientists have discovered.

sheepdog and sheep

The findings could lead to the development of robots that can gather and herd livestock, crowd control techniques, or new methods to clean up the environment.

For the first time scientists used GPS technology to understand how sheepdogs do their jobs so well. Until now, they had no idea how the dogs manage to get so many unwilling sheep to move in the same direction.

NERC fellow, Dr Andrew King of Swansea University, fitted a flock of sheep and a sheepdog with backpacks containing extremely accurate GPS devices designed by colleagues at the Royal Veterinary College, London.

Daniel Strömbom of Uppsala University and colleagues then used data from these devices, together with computer simulations, to develop a mathematical shepherding model.

The team found that sheepdogs likely use just two simple rules: to collect the sheep when they’re dispersed and drive them forward when they’re aggregated. In the model, a single shepherd could herd a flock of more than 100 individuals using these two simple rules.

The research is published in the : Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Andrew King said:

“If you watch sheepdogs rounding up sheep, the dog weaves back and forth behind the flock in exactly the way that we see in the model,”

He explained:

“We had to think about what the dog could see to develop our model. It basically sees white, fluffy things in front of it. If the dog sees gaps between the sheep, or the gaps are getting bigger, the dog needs to bring them together.”

Daniel Strömbom said:

“At every time step in the model, the dog decides if the herd is cohesive enough or not. If not cohesive, it will make it cohesive, but if it’s already cohesive the dog will push the herd towards the target,”

“Other models don’t appear to be able to herd really big groups – as soon as the number of individuals gets above 50 you start needing multiple shepherds or sheepdogs.”

Andrew King said:

“There are numerous applications for this knowledge, such as crowd control, cleaning up the environment, herding of livestock, keeping animals away from sensitive areas, and collecting or guiding groups of exploring robots.”

Found at NERC.

This video shows five simulation runs with 20, 30, 50, 100 and 200 agents. The shepherd (blue asterisk) approaches and rounds up the agents (black dots with red boundary) and then proceed to herd the group toward the target located near the lower left corner. This research was published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface in the paper: Solving the shepherding problem: heuristics for herding autonomous, interacting agents by Daniel Strömbom, Richard P. Mann, Alan M. Wilson, Stephen Hailes, A. Jennifer Morton, David J. T. Sumpter and Andrew J. King.

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All the Companies Making Money From Healthcare.gov in One Chart

health-care-dot-gov

Read it all HERE.

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Do you smoke marijuana? If so, this is for you!

SMOKE LIKE A BOSS BY HIDING THE SMELL OF MARIJUANA

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30 BLOCKS OF MURALS & CIGARETTE TAXES FOR THE CHILDREN

It’s that time of year again – when the little juvenile delinquents, future prison inmates, and functionally illiterate junior members of the free shit army pick up their “free” backpacks and “free” school supplies they will never use and shuffle off to the decaying prison like schools in the City of Philadelphia to eat “free” breakfasts and “free” lunches, while being taught government sanctioned pablum by overpaid mediocre union teachers.

It’s a repeat of every year for the Phila school district. As the school year approaches they are shocked to report a massive deficit and beg the State of PA for more funding. The $12,000 per child simply isn’t enough, even though Parochial schools provide ten times the education for $9,000 per child. The district has a slight $80 million deficit this year. Last year they had a $100 million deficit and the mayor proposed a soda tax to fill the gap. It was defeated, so they raised property taxes instead. Mayor Nutter’s name is fitting. He is just another in a long line of Democratic mayors who have ruled Philadelphia since the 1950?s and whose policies of welfare handouts for their voting base paid for by taxing the producers, has resulted in a population decline from 2.1 million in 1950 to 1.5 million today. Doug Casey captures the essence of Philly with this definition:

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy)a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

The liberal solution to an ever decreasing tax base and an ever growing level of benefits for the free shit army and government union drones, is to increase taxes on the few remaining producers. They then flee the city, leaving fewer producers to tax. Rinse and repeat. Your neighborhoods then look like this.

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Continue reading HERE.

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Obama: “We don’t have a strategy yet” for dealing with Islamic State

Surprised that he’d put this out there? Why?

waffle-house