‘Ten years ago this was science fiction’: the rise of weedkilling robots | Environment

In the corner of an Ohio field, a laser-armed robot inches through a sea of onions, zapping weeds as it goes.

This field doesn’t belong to a dystopian future but to Shay Myers, a third-generation farmer whose TikTok posts about farming life often go viral.

He began using two robots last year to weed his 12-hectare (30-acre) crop. The robots – which are nearly three metres long, weigh 4,300kg (9,500lb), and resemble a small car – clamber slowly across a field, scanning beneath them for weeds which they then target with laser bursts.

“For microseconds you watch these reddish color bursts. You see the weed, it lights up as the laser hits, and it’s just gone,” said Myers. “Ten years ago this was science fiction.” Other than engine sounds, the robots are almost silent and each one can destroy 100,000 weeds an hour, according to Carbon Robotics, the company

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A Century of Science Fiction That Changed How We Think About the Environment

Even before the idea of climate change took hold, sci-fi began to think of the planet as something that preceded our species and could conceivably continue without us.

It has become axiomatic to say that the world is becoming like science fiction. From mobile phones that speak to us (reminding Star Trek fans of tricorders), to genetically modified foods, to the Internet of Things and the promise of self-driving cars, people in industrialized nations live immersed in technology. Daily life can thus at times seem like visions from the pulp science fiction of the 1920s and 1930s — either a world perfected by technology, manifested in events such as the 1939 World’s Fair, with its theme “The World of Tomorrow”; or a dystopian nightmare, such as Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” (1932).

If we think about science fiction (sf) in terms of the genre’s connections to pressing issues in

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Executive Order on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
    Section 1.  Policy.  It is the policy of my Administration that all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual violence, and including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  For students attending schools and other educational institutions that receive Federal financial assistance, this guarantee is codified, in part, in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq., which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance.
    Sec. 2.  Review of Agency Actions.  (a)  Within 100 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Education, in consultation with

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