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Sheep dogs reverse-engineered, but no robot dog yet

A SWEDISH researcher has reverse-engineered the working dog, bringing the world one step closer to a robotic sheep-dog.

David Sumpter of Uppsala University in Sweden studied the science and patterns behind herding sheep, based on the movements and behaviour of a South Australian Kelpie named Rosie.

He then wrote algorithms to mimic the dog’s behaviour, replicating the herding patterns of the dog.

Sumpter says while he has nailed down the basic rules of how groups interact, an AI-driven robot sheep-dog is still some way off, since sheep dogs are fairly complex and have the ability to adapt to changing conditions.

However, the learnings from Rosie’s sheep herding behaviour could be used to assist the design, layout and techniques used to control crowds.

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