Since I’m on forced leave, I’m using the time to get some work done around my mom’s place and visit some friends. Yesterday was spent at my buddy’s farm. He has some neat toys.

We didn’t pull the dozee off the trailer, but we did crank it up so he could show off some of the controls. The startup process is way too complicated. Press a button, enter a code, select a mode, press the first button again. Vroom.

There is no throttle lever, pedal, or knob. The engine is supposed to respond to the needs of the user. Any requests for movement result in an increase in throttle, but there can be some lag. This makes it hard to be precise. The throttle position can be set with a couple of buttons, but it isn’t intuitive and is a slow process.

It also has a built-in connection to the manufacturer, making it easy for them to troubleshoot problems from afar. But it also means that they can remotely control it. Well, at least some parts of it. Without cameras, they can’t drive it around, but they can start it, move the blade, and even drive it around blindly. It also has built-in GPS, so they can always find it if it goes missing.

It’s a neat machine, but my buddy says he would rather have something a little more old-school. Come to think of it, this dozer brings us one step closer to the robot apocalypse. The rogue AI just has to call up the nearest dozer and start running over stuff. I guess they’ll still need us to fill them up with fuel.