Following the news on the technological advances in the northern isles of the UK, it has come to the attention of the Shetters news team that a band of dedicated crofters on the island of Fetlar in the Shetland Islands are replacing the traditional crofting dog with a new Japanese robotic dog.
Matthew Swine caught up with one of the team in training.
"It's amazing!" said Liam Hughson, "I don't have to shout anymore, because of the database held in the dogs circuitry, it remembers every whistle and doesn't stray from its path. No nipping ankles, or sending sheep in the wrong direction. And it has artificial intelligence - quite frankly, I'd be happy with any intelligence at all!"
We looked on as a nimble Japanese man sent four dogs to tackle a small gathering of sheep.
"Every dog responds differently to each human, they gather information with this camera they have in their nose so they can see which human they are dealing with-I never thought I'd see the day, I mean, I know we have broadband now, but to give up on my faithful working pooch is now a reality."
It seems that if these robot dogs are a success, the crofters will be happy to keep their dogs as pets.
"Yeah, Bawdie Tyke will always have a place in front of my peat fire. Robots can't replace a living, breathing, farting dog-can they?" said Hughson.
But it seems that the new robotic dogs can respond to touch and show pleasure by wagging their tails, and closing their eyes to show happiness.
Matthew posed a question to another onlooking crofter in the field.
"What happens if the battery runs out?"
"Well I guess I could bribe the old team back-you know-flesh and bloods-but I do check their batteries every morning, they last at least sixteen hours, and I don't have to feed 'em. What I'm most worried about is when robots replace humans... then again, to send out a robot to do my work means I can do something else I guess; like going fishing or taking up macrame."
So the residents of Fetlar will be pleased to know that they'll no longer hear the words:
"Get back here you f##king b####rd!" or "What the f##k do you think you're doing you stupid c##t!?" drifting across the hills in the near future; just the sound of Zen-like crofters and their happy sheep and dogs going about their business.
Shetters News: Established in 2009- a franchise of 'What's Not News Edinburgh'