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Self-sufficient oasis

Mobility

We’ve seen how this schoolgirl’s invention could stimulate crop growth.

Cultivating plants in the desert is a different ball game – but this robot might just help.

Developed by students at the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, the 20cm long device moves autonomously through the desert on legs from a 3D printer.

Spurred on by a battery powered during the day by its solar modules, the robot navigates the desert terrain by night.

With sensors for eyes, it works within a 5km radius searching for fertile soil in which to plant its seed.

A convoy of these planting machines could see the desert turn green, with progress potentially available for all to follow online.

Dry needn’t mean sterile.

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