Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration

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Shepherds leading more than 1800 sheep arrived at the Spanish capital, to promote the conservation of the ancient paths of transhumance (moving flocks from winter to summer pastures). (AFP/Oscar del Pozo)
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A flock of sheep walks past Madrid's Cityhall during the annual sheep parade through Madrid, Spain, October 20, 2019. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)
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A flock of sheep walks past Puerta del Sol, Madrid’s famous landmark, during the annual sheep parade through Madrid, Spain, October 20, 2019. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)
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Shepherds guided sheep through the Madrid streets in defence of ancient grazing and migration rights that seem increasingly threatened by urban sprawl and modern agricultural practices. (AP/Paul White)
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A child touches a sheep during the annual sheep parade through Madrid, Spain, October 20, 2019. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)
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A shepherd herds his sheep as flocks of sheep and goats crossed the city center of Madrid on October 20, 2019. (AFP/Oscar del Pozo)
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A flock of sheep walks past Madrid's City Hall during the annual sheep parade through Madrid, Spain, October 20, 2019. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)
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Livestock are driven through the streets of central Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (AP/Paul White)
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A police officer speaks on her radio as a flock of sheep pass through central Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (AP/Paul White)
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Flocks of sheep and goats are herded in the city center of Madrid on October 20, 2019. (AFP/Oscar del Pozo)
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A man stands behind fences as a flock of sheep walks past during the annual sheep parade through Madrid, Spain, October 20, 2019. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)
Updated 20 October 2019

Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration

  • The annual event, which started in 1994, allows shepherds to exercise their right to use traditional routes to migrate their livestock
  • The herd includes 2,000 merino sheep and 100 goats

MADRID: Sheep replaced traffic on the streets of Madrid on Sunday as shepherds steered their flocks through the heart of the Spanish capital, following ancient migration routes.
The annual event, which started in 1994, allows shepherds to exercise their right to use traditional routes to migrate their livestock from northern Spain to more southerly pastures for winter grazing.
The route would have taken them through undeveloped countryside a few centuries ago, but today it cuts through Madrid’s bustling city center and along some of its most famous streets.
Sheep farmers pay a nominal charge in symbolic acknowledgement of a 1418 agreement with the city council that set a fee of 50 maravedis — medieval coins — per 1,000 sheep brought through the central Sol square and Gran Via street.
The herd includes 2,000 merino sheep and 100 goats.


South Korean cafe hires robot barista to help with social distancing

Updated 25 May 2020

South Korean cafe hires robot barista to help with social distancing

  • It is believed the robots could help with social distancing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues
  • The manufacturer and the scientific institute aim to supply at least 30 cafes with robots this year

DAEJEON, South Korea: The new robot barista at the cafe in Daejeon, South Korea, is courteous and swift as it seamlessly makes its way toward customers.
“Here is your Rooibos almonds tea latte, please enjoy. It’s even better if you stir it,” it says, as a customer reaches for her drink on a tray installed within the large, gleaming white capsule-shaped computer.
After managing to contain an outbreak of the new coronavirus which infected more than 11,000 people and killed 267, South Korea is slowly transitioning from intensive social distancing rules toward what the government calls “distancing in daily life.”
Robots could help people observe social distancing in public, said Lee Dong-bae, director of research at Vision Semicon, a smart factory solution provider which developed the barista robot together with a state-run science institute.
“Our system needs no input from people from order to delivery, and tables were sparsely arranged to ensure smooth movements of the robots, which fits will with the current ‘untact’ and distancing campaign,” he said.
The system, which uses a coffee-making robotic arm and a serving robot, can make 60 different types of coffee and serves the drinks to customers at their seats. It can also communicate and transmit data to other devices and contains self-driving technology to calculate the best routes around the cafe.
An order of six drinks, processed through a kiosk, took just seven minutes. The only human employee at the two-story cafe was a patissier who also has some cleaning duties and refills ingredients.
The manufacturer and the scientific institute aim to supply at least 30 cafes with robots this year.
“Robots are fun and it was easy because you don’t have to pick up your order,” said student Lee Chae-mi, 23. “But I’m also a bit of worried about the job market as many of my friends are doing part-time jobs at cafes and these robots would replace humans.”