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An investigation of predator response in robotic herding of sheep
journal contributionposted on 01.08.2018, 00:00 by M Evered, P Burling, Mark Trotter
Research into robotic herding of farm animals has so far been restricted to simulations or very limited artificial environments. Models of herd response to herders as perceived predators vary greatly in complexity but all assume a „flight distance‟ at which an animal will regard the threat as great enough to warrant movement. In this paper we report on an experiment to measure the flight distance for a flock of sheep with a robot herder in a real farm environment. Our results show that, rather than being stable, the flight distance decreases rapidly as the sheep become accustomed to the presence of the robot. This has significant implications for future work on intelligent robotic herding.