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Robots may take on shearing as Australia's resurgent wool industry deals with a labour shortage

Robots shearing sheep. The idea is enough to have 19th-century bush poet Henry Lawson turn in his grave, but Australia's resurgent $3 billion wool industry is working to make it a reality. Faced with a shearer shortage, it is spending $10 million on research to streamline wool harvesting.

Projects range from better shed design to robotics, including one project that would fully automate the process of getting wool off a sheep and into a bale.


Jane Littlejohn, who oversees the research arm of the industry's research and development body Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), described automation as "forward thinking".



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ABC Rural News  18 January 2019