The ever expanding list of professional activities that are in imminent danger of replacement by AI and/or robots has a new addition – Topiarists. A topiary-bot is currently under test at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, as part of the the university’s TrimBot2020 project. Which is seeking to “advance the robotics and computer vision technology needed by a garden trimming robot”.
The team’s clipper bot was tested on small boxwood trees – both real and artificial. It performed slightly better on the plastic trees. See:
Automated Boxwood Topiary Trimming with a Robotic Arm and Integrated Stereo Vision IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2019
Bonus Assignment [optional] Estimate, if appropriate (with explained rationale) the remaining time before the profession of ‘Hairdresser’ might become redundant.