An interesting thing that I didn’t know

Imagine the usefulness of drones to finding cattle that are on the open range, or of delivery water or hay to where the cows are waiting for it (for those not from the West, free range cattle do remember where supplies were last dropped in the winter, and will congregate in those spots … often miles from nowhere in particular).

19 thoughts on “An interesting thing that I didn’t know”

  1. Text book case of a military investment being ‘innovated’ (can I say that?) into a new commercial usage.

  2. They’ll never let us have them. We might fill them with kiddie porn heroin terrorism, or something.

  3. @IanB
    “They’ll never let us have them.”
    WGAF? Build & fly them anyway.
    They want to argue.
    Couple hundred kilos airborne explosive would have an impact on legislators..

  4. Philip Scott Thomas

    How big would a drone have to be in order to be able to deliver a useful amount of hay or water?

    Generated lift? Power source? Are we basically just talking a remote-controlled full-sized helo?

  5. bilbaoboy, that’s only a one-pound payload and a 1-minute range; you would need a lot of them to keep your cattle fed.

    Sure, those figures will improve, but it seems to be a long way off yet.

  6. Richard

    We can use a 4×4 truck to deliver the hay. All we need is a device to save me wearing out my testicles on horseback looking for the bloody moos on my Ted Turner-sized rancho.

    There are already drones that can stay up for hours. The uses (spy-type and non-spy-type) are limited only by our imagination.

  7. Why is it, every time anyone mentions drones, it’s always presumed it’ll be a toy sized plane?
    You could build a 747 as a drone. Or one of those Russian sky crane’s caries 30 tons. It’s the self guiding element makes it a “drone”.

  8. Bloke in Central Illinois

    “Why is it, every time anyone mentions drones, it’s always presumed it’ll be a toy sized plane?
    You could build a 747 as a drone. Or one of those Russian sky crane’s caries 30 tons. It’s the self guiding element makes it a “drone”.”

    You could, but the benefits of remote piloting are pretty limited if you’re running a large, expensive aircraft like a 747 or a skycrane. They cost so much to operate that you might as well hire a real pilot.

  9. @BIS You could build a 747 as a drone. Or one of those Russian sky crane’s caries 30 tons. It’s the self guiding element makes it a “drone”.

    For an historical example of an attempt at this which went wrong see:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Aphrodite

    If it had been more successful there would probably not have been a JFK as we know him.

  10. Driverless Vehicle Week at Tim Worstall’s continues tomorrow with a look at the exciting new “Personless Segway”.

  11. @ian Reid
    No. that was an auto-pilot. Or it wouldn’t have required the pilot for the take-off.
    But the explosion is quite acceptible.
    As long as it takes place in post code SW1 1AA

  12. Driverless Vehicle Week at Tim Worstall’s continues tomorrow with a look at the exciting new “Personless Segway”.

    Excellent, I shall start emailing Tim links to Hackaday posts on autonomous vehicle hacks, every five minutes or so.

  13. That cows remember where the fodder was dropped last year. Entirely different from what everyone is talking about of course…..

  14. “That cows remember where the fodder was dropped last year.” It’s not actually what he said:”free range cattle do remember where supplies were last dropped in the winter”.

    But yes, cattle remember where food was put previously. You don’t need to be in The West to know that.

  15. So Much for Subtlety

    Tim Worstall – “That cows remember where the fodder was dropped last year. Entirely different from what everyone is talking about of course…..”

    That cows remember where food is put is not surprising. Anyone who has experience of dairy cows knows that they know when and where to come to be milked. The surprising thing is that they remember from the previous year.

    Which raises the question – how smart do cows have to be before it is wrong to eat them? I feel mildly bad about pigs as it is. But cows ain’t that smart.

  16. The surprising thing about bovine memory power is anyone’s finding it surprising. Salmon return to the river they’re spawned.
    Cow’s basically a locomotive grass fermenter. Goes in the front, comes out the back. Nature could have achieved that with a giant slug. So what’s the evolutionary advantage to the brain behind the moo? It optimises input. It doesn’t really have much to think about apart from that. But that it does think about.

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