Louisiana Now Has a Robot Crawfish Farmer Thanks to LSU Students
Crawfish and Louisiana go together like peanut butter and jelly. It's hard to picture one without the other - in fact, I'm pretty sure people in other states think that we have boiled crawfish for every meal! Obviously, we don't - sometimes we have it in gumbo or a nice Étouffée.
I guess our reputation for mudbug consumption is fair. For a pretty good chunk of the year we have plenty of those tasty little crustaceans to go around, and we eat them all! It's also not very surprising that Louisiana would be at the forefront of crawfish technology. Being the country's largest exporter of crawfish makes us the experts.
That being said, I was more than impressed with the latest, delicious technological leap made at Louisiana State University. Some extremely innovative biological and agricultural engineering students at LSU have created the world's first robotic crawfish harvester! According to KATC, this new device isn't meant to replace the human crawfish farmer - it's designed to help the farmer collect crawfish even faster!
Currently, the process of harvesting mudbugs is a tricky one-man operation. The harvester sits in a shallow-draft, flat bottom boat that they must pilot by foot pedal so their hands can be free to pick up, empty, and rebait the traps. The robotic solution devised at LSU does all of the trap-work, leaving the farmer free to operate the boat and oversee the operation. Just think about the relief of not having to pull double duty, bent over the side of the boat for most of your day!
Currently, the design is being refined - but the team at LSU says that the machine has proven to reliably scoop up crawdads as fast as a human. On average, this robo-Cajun can pick up, empty, and re-set a trap in about 18.3 seconds.
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