Denis Balibouse/Reuters/Newscom

Robots against weeds

Technology | Weed-killing bots may transform herbicide practices
by Michael Cochrane
Posted 7/05/18, 01:27 am

Autonomous farming robots that target weeds directly are poised to disrupt the current practice of mass spraying of herbicides.

Swiss company ecoRobotix is one of several newcomers in the emerging field of digital agriculture. Its solar-powered robot, which looks something like a pingpong table on wheels, can identify and spray weeds for 12 hours straight without an operator. Its developers believe it will use 20 times less herbicide than traditional methods that involve spraying entire fields.

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Associated Press/Photo by Caleb Jones

Kilauea erupts with anticlimactic ash column

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 5/17/18, 01:12 pm

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted from its summit early Thursday, shooting a plume of ash about 30,000 feet into the sky. The explosion happened at about 6 a.m. HST after two weeks of volcanic activity. More than a dozen fissures east of the crater already spewed lava into neighborhoods, destroying at least 26 homes and 10 other structures. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park closed May 11 in anticipation of a possible eruption, and officials said they didn’t expect the explosion to be deadly as long as people stayed out of the park.

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Old ‘legal person’ river

Environmentalism | Granting rights to nature only grants power to self-appointed guardians
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 5/10/18, 03:48 pm

Two months ago our electric co-op magazine reported on the efforts of volunteer linemen from Missouri to bring electric power to a remote village in the Bolivian Andes. It was no small effort. At 13,000 feet, with no auxiliary power, the volunteers set poles and strung lines while willing villagers dug placement holes by hand and helped lift heavy cables. All received their reward when a single bulb washed the village leader’s home with light. For the people of Chapasirca, life is brighter now.

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